Flash-Cards-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-21
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#21 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Bali Fintech Agenda; African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); Tashkent Declaration; United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 72/277; Canine distemper virus (CDV); Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF); Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF); Udyam Abhilasha; Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF);
By IT's Core Team
April 11, 2019

 

 

 

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) applies to air- or sea-launched missiles also. Right or Wrong?

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Answer:

Right Statement:

  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty ban extends to weapons with both nuclear and conventional warheads, but does not cover air-delivered or sea-based missiles. The treaty did not apply to air- or sea-launched missiles.

Enrich Your Learning:

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF):

  • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, nuclear arms-control accord reached by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987.
  • Two nations agreed to eliminate their stocks of intermediate-range and shorter-range (or “medium-range”) land-based missiles (which could carry nuclear warheads).
  • It was the first arms-control treaty to abolish an entire category of weapons systems.
  • In addition, two protocols to the treaty established unprecedented procedures for observers from both nations to verify first-hand the other nation’s destruction of its missiles.
  • The INF Treaty defined intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) as those having ranges of 1,000 to 5,500 km and shorter-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) as those having ranges from 500 to 1,000 km.
  • The treaty prohibits both parties from possessing, producing or flight-testing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500-5,500km.
  • Possessing or producing ground-based launchers of those missiles is also prohibited.
  • Existing weapons had to be destroyed, and a protocol for mutual inspection was agreed upon.
  • Each party has the right to withdraw from the treaty with six months’ notice, if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests.

 

 

 

Recently, a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha has launched by which bank?

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Answer:

  • A National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha has launched by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).

Enrich Your Learning:

Udyam Abhilasha:

  • On the occasion of Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), had launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, Udyam Abhilasha in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth.
  • SIDBI will join to contribute to “the transformation mission” unleashed for these districts.
  • The campaign would be running parallel from 3rd October to 8th October, 2018 across India.
  • The campaign would create and strengthen cadre of more than 800 trainers to provide entrepreneurship training to the aspiring youths across these districts thus encouraging them to enter the admired segment of entrepreneurs.
  • SIDBI has partnered with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle, (CSC SPV) set up by the Ministry of Electronics & IT, Govt. of India for implementing the campaign through their CSCs.
  • SIDBI is also taking-up with stakeholders including Banks, NABARD, NBFCs, SFBs, District Industries Centres, State Govt. etc. to be a part of this campaign and ensure mutlifold impact.
  • CSC Village Level entrepreneurs (VLEs) would play role of catalyst for these aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Apart from training, VLEs would also provide handholding support to the aspirants to establish new units by assisting them in availing loans for their enterprise and making them aware about various initiatives of Government of India like Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, SUI etc. and educate the youths in these districts on business literacy.

Objectives:

  • To inspire rural youth in aspirational districts to be entrepreneurs by assisting them to set up their own enterprise,
  • To impart trainings through digital medium across the country,
  • To create business opportunities for CSC VLEs,
  • To focus on women aspirants in these aspirational districts to encourage women entrepreneurship and
  • To assist participants to become bankable and avail credit facility from banks to set up their own enterprise.

 

 

 

The Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) is created for?

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Answer:

  • The Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) is created for development and up-gradation of agricultural marketing infrastructure in Gramin Agricultural Markets and Regulated Wholesale Markets.

Enrich Your Learning:

Agri-Market Infrastructure fund:

  • The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs its approval for the creation of a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore for Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF)
  • It is to be created with NABARD for development and up-gradation of agricultural marketing infrastructure in Gramin Agricultural Markets and Regulated Wholesale Markets.
  • AMIF will provide the State/UT Governments subsidized loan for their proposal for developing marketing infrastructure in 585 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and 10,000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs).
  • States may also access AMIF for innovative integrated market infrastructure projects including Hub and Spoke mode and in Public Private Partnership mode.
  • In these GrAMs, physical and basic infrastructure will be strengthened using MGNREGA and other Government Schemes.
  • After approval of AMIF Scheme, the interest subsidy will be provided by DAC&FW to NABARD in alignment with annual budget releases during 2018-19 and 2019-20 as well as upto 2024-25.
  • The Scheme being demand driven, its progress is subject to the demands from the States and proposals received from them.

 

 

 

Which financial institutes are the Nodal Loaning Entities under Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF)?

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Answer:

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), National Cooperatives Development Corporation (NCDC) and all scheduled Banks are the Nodal Loaning Entities under Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF).

Enrich Your Learning:

Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF)

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for creation of special Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF).

Benefits:

  • Creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities both in marine and Inland fisheries sectors.
  • To augment fish production to achieve its target of 15 million tonne by 2020 set under the Blue Revolution; and to achieve a sustainable growth of 8% – 9% thereafter to reach the fish production to the level of about 20 MMT by 2022-23.
  • Employment opportunities to over 9.40 lakh fishers/fishermen/fisherfolk and other entrepreneurs in fishing and allied activities.
  • To attract private investment in creation and management of fisheries infrastructure facilities.
  • Adoption of new technologies.

FIDF would provide concessional finance to State Governments / UTs and State entities, cooperatives, individuals and entrepreneurs etc., for taking up of the identified investment activities of fisheries development. 

Under FIDF, loan lending will be over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23 and maximum repayment will be over a period of 12 years inclusive of moratorium of two years on repayment of principal.

 

 

 

The Bali Fintech Agenda is jointly developed by?

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Answer:

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank staff have developed the Bali Fintech Agenda.

Enrich Your Learning:

Bali Fintech Agenda:

  • The Agenda brings together and advances key issues for policymakers and the international community to consider as individual countries formulate their policy approaches.
  • It distills these considerations into 12 elements arising from the experiences of member countries.
  • The Agenda offers a framework for the consideration of high-level issues by individual member countries, including in their own domestic policy discussions.
  • It does not represent the work program of the IMF or the World Bank, nor does it aim to provide specific guidance or policy advice.
  • The Agenda will help guide the focus of IMF and World Bank staff in their work on fintech issues within their expertise and mandate, inform their dialogue with national authorities, and help shape their contributions to the work of the standard-setting bodies and other relevant international institutions on fintech issues.
  • Implications for the work programs of the IMF and World Bank will be developed and presented to their respective Executive Boards for guidance as the nature and scope of the membership’s needs–in response to the Bali Fintech Agenda—become clearer.

Background:

What is Fintech?

  • Fintech is used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.
  • Fintech, the word, is a combination of “financial technology”.
  • At its core, fintech is utilized to help companies, business owners and consumers better manage their financial operations, processes and lives by utilizing specialized software and algorithms that are used on computers and, increasingly, smartphones.
  • When fintech emerged in the 21st Century, the term was initially applied to technology employed at the back-end systems of established financial institutions.
  • Since then, however, there has been a shift to more consumer-oriented services and therefore a more consumer-oriented definition.
  • Fintech has expanded to include any technological innovation in – and automation of – the financial sector, including advances in financial literacy, advice and education, as well as streamlining of wealth management, lending and borrowing, retail banking, fundraising, money transfers/payments, investment management and more.
  • Fintech also includes the development and use of crypto-currencies such as bitcoin.
  • That segment of fintech may see the most headlines, the big money still lies in the traditional global banking industry and its multi-trillion-dollar market capitalization.

 

 

 

What is Canine distemper virus (CDV)?

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Answer:

  • Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a multisystemic viral disease of dogs that affects puppies most commonly aged between 3 and 6 months.

Enrich Your Learning:

Canine Distemper Virus

  • CDV causes a highly contagious and life-threatening disease in dogs.
  • CDV also affects other wild carnivores, including wolves, foxes, raccoons, red pandas, ferrets, hyenas, tigers, and lions.
  • The prevalence of this virus and its diversity in the country’s wildlife has not been studied.
  • In canines, distemper affects several body systems, including the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and the spinal cord and brain, with common symptoms that include high fever, eye inflammation and eye/nose discharge, labored breathing and coughing, vomiting and diarrhea, loss of appetite and lethargy, and hardening of nose and footpads.
  • The viral infection can be accompanied by secondary bacterial infections and can present eventual serious neurological symptoms.
  • Canine distemper is caused by a single-stranded RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae (the same family of the viruses that causes measles, mumps, and bronchiolitis in humans).
  • The disease is highly contagious via inhalation.

Why in news?

  • Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) caused the death of five Asiatic lions in Gir forest, Gujarat, the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) National Institute of Virology (NIV) has found.
  • As a precautionary measure, 300 shots of CDV vaccine are being imported from the US.

 

 

 

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 72/277. What is it all about?

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Answer:

  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 72/277 “Towards a Global Pact for the Environment”.

Enrich Your Learning:

Global Pact for Environment:

  • The Global Pact for the Environment was launched in 2017 as an initiative to conclude a legally binding international instrument under the United Nations that synthesizes the principles outlined in the Stockholm Declaration, the World Charter for Nature, the Rio Declaration, the IUCN World Declaration on the Environmental Rule of Law, and other instruments to solidify the environmental rule of law around the world and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 72/277 “Towards a Global Pact for the Environment” on 10 May 2018.

Therein, the Member States decided to:

  • Establish an ad hoc open-ended working group (AHWG) to consider a technical and evidence-based report to be submitted by the UN Secretary-General during 2018 at the onset of the Assembly’s 73rd session;
  • Have the AHWG further discuss options to address gaps in international environmental law and related instruments.
  • If necessary, consider the scope, parameters, and feasibility of an international instrument and make resulting recommendations that may include convening an intergovernmental conference that could adopt an international instrument during the first half of 2019;
  • Open all organizational, initial, and negotiating sessions of the AHWG to UN Members States and relevant non-governmental organizations
  • Appoint two co-chairs of the AHWG – one from a developing State and the other from a developed State – to oversee consultations
  • Meet the costs of the group through voluntary contributions and request the Secretary-General to establish a special voluntary trust fund to support the process, and an additional voluntary trust fund to assist developing countries to attend the sessions of the AHWG.

A Global Pact for the Environment will greatly expand the rights of those suffering from environmental harms, allow and incent states and civil society to better hold polluters accountable, and lay the foundation for the incorporation of environmental concerns in all international governance, as is done for other human rights.

 

 

 

Tashkent Agreement was signed between India and Uzbekistan? Right or Wrong?

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Answer:

Right Statement:

Tashkent Agreement was signed by India’s prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistan’s president Ayub Khan, ending the 17-day war between Pakistan and India of August–September 1965.

Enrich Your Learning:

Tashkent Declaration:

  • A cease-fire had been secured by the United Nations Security Council on Sept. 22, 1965.
  • The agreement was mediated by Soviet premier Aleksey Kosygin, who had invited the parties to Tashkent.
  • The parties agreed to withdraw all armed forces to positions held before Aug. 5, 1965; to restore diplomatic relations; and to discuss economic, refugee, and other questions.
  • The agreement was criticized in India because it did not contain a no-war pact or any renunciation of guerrilla aggression in Kashmir.
  • It was over control of the resources and population of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, a sore point between both countries ever since Partition in 1947.
  • The Tashkent conference, under United Nations, American and Soviet pressure, compelled India and Pakistan to abide by their previous treaty obligations and accept Status quo – to give away the captured regions of each other and return to the 1949 ceasefire line in Kashmir.

Declaration:

  • The conference was viewed as a great success and the declaration that was released was hoped to be a framework for lasting peace.
  • The declaration stated that Indian and Pakistani forces would pull back to their pre-conflict positions, pre-August lines, no later than 25 February 1966, the nations would not interfere in each other’s internal affairs, economic and diplomatic relations would be restored, there would be an orderly transfer of prisoners of war, and the two leaders would work towards improving bilateral relations.

 

 

 

What is the aim of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)?

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Answer:

  • The aim of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is to improve regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.

Enrich Your Learning:

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI):

  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious programme to connect Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.
  • It is also known as the One Belt One Road (OBOR) or the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road.
  • The name was coined in 2013 by China’s President Xi Jinping, who drew inspiration from the concept of the Silk Road established during the Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago – an ancient network of trade routes that connected China to the Mediterranean via Eurasia for centuries.
  • The BRI comprises a Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) – a trans-continental passage that links China with south east Asia, south Asia, Central Asia, Russia and Europe by land – and a 21st century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route connecting China’s coastal regions with south east and south Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East and Eastern Africa, all the way to Europe.
  • The initial focus has been infrastructure investment, education, construction materials, railway and highway, automobile, real estate, power grid, and iron and steel.

The initiative defines five major priorities:

  • Policy coordination;
  • Infrastructure connectivity;
  • Unimpeded trade;
  • Financial integration;
  • Connecting people.

The programme is expected to involve over US$1 trillion in investments, largely in infrastructure development for ports, roads, railways and airports, as well as power plants and telecommunications networks.

The BRI’s geographical scope is constantly expanding. So far it covers over 70 countries, accounting for about 65 per cent of the world’s population and around one-third of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

 

 

 

What is the main objective of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?

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Answer:

  • The main objective of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.

Enrich Your Learning:

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA):

  • The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a planned free trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 49 of the 55 African Union nations.
  • If the agreement is ratified, the free-trade area will be the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
  • The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda in March, 2018.
  • The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.
  • The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022.
  • The proposal will come into force after ratification by 22 of the signatory states.

Objectives of the CFTA:

  • Expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.
  • Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.
  • Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.

AfCFTA secretariat:

  • The secretariat will be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the agreement and shall be an autonomous body within the AU system.
  • Though it will have independent legal personality, it shall work closely with the AU Commission and receive its budget from the AU.
  • The Council of Ministers responsible for trade will decide on the location of the headquarter, structure, role and responsibilities.
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