FC-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-38
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#38 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

Gandhi Peace Prize; Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC); WorldSkills India; Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana; Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019; Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC); SWAYAM; ‘Tokenization’; Global Risks Report 2019; Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA);
By IT's Core Team
April 29, 2019

 

 

 

India recently signed a Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) with which country?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer:

Enrich Your Learning:

  • Reserve Bank of India and Bank of Japan signed the Agreement for Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) between India and Japan.

What is Bilateral Swap Arrangement:

  • A bilateral currency swap is an open-ended credit line from one country to another at a fixed exchange rate.
  • The country which avails itself of this loan pays interest to the country which provides it, at a benchmark interest rate such as the Libor (London Inter-bank rate).

Salient Features of BSA between India and Japan:

  • This currency swap arrangement will allow the Indian central bank to draw up to $75 billion worth of yen or dollars as a loan from the Japanese government whenever it needs this money.
  • The RBI can either sell these dollars (or yen) to importers to settle their bills or to borrowers to pay off their foreign loans.
  • The RBI can even hang on to the money to shore up its own foreign exchange reserves and defend in the rupee.
  • The RBI too is obliged to provide Japanese central bank a $75-billion loan at Libor, out of its own reserves if demanded by the Japanese Bank.

Importance of BSA between India and Japan:

  • The rupee has been falling against the dollar because of its widening current account deficit (the difference between imports and exports of goods and services).
  • This leads to importers upping their demand for dollars far beyond what exporters bring into the country.
  • While the RBI had amassed foreign currency reserves of over $426 billion by April 2018, it has had to use up some of this in recent weeks to prop up the rupee.
  • Though present forex reserves at over $390 billion are still comfortable, having a $75-billion loan-on-demand from Japan gives the RBI an additional buffer to fall back on.

Key Facts:

  • Japan is the second largest holder of dollar reserves in the world after China and is sitting on fat coffers of over $1,250 billion.
  • Japan can as result of this investment make deals that help Japanese companies set up shop in India.
  • China and Japan also use bilateral currency swaps as instruments to fight the hegemony of the dollar, as it coaxes more countries to use their currency to settle their bills.

 

 

 

‘Global Risk Report’ is an annual report on world’s most pressing issues into focus by identifying the top risks is published by which organisation?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer:

  • ‘Global Risk Report’ is published annually by World Economic Forum (WEF).

Enrich Your Learning:

Global Risks Report 2019

  • The 14th edition of the Global Risks Report, prepared by the World Economic Forum with the support partners, examines the evolving macro-level risk landscape and highlights major threats that may disrupt the world in 2019 and over the next decade.
  • The Global Risks Report 2019 is published against a backdrop of worrying geopolitical and geo-economic tensions in annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
  • The report presents the results of latest Global Risks Perception Survey, in which nearly 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society assess the risks facing the world.
  • Over a ten-year horizon, extreme weather and climate-change policy failures are seen as the gravest threats in the year 2019.

The Global Risks Report 2019

  • The most striking aspect of this year’s report is the level of concern about geopolitical issues.
  • Of the top ten risks expected to deteriorate in 2019, seven are connected to the political environment.
  • Over 90% of respondents expect economic confrontations/frictions between major powers to deteriorate in 2019, with a similar number anticipating the erosion of multilateral trading rules and agreements.
  • The report includes another series of “what-if” Future Shocks that examine quantum computing, weather manipulation, monetary populism, emotionally responsive artificial intelligence and other potential risks.
  • The theme of emotions is also addressed in a chapter on the human causes and effects of global risks; the chapter calls for greater action around rising levels of psychological strain across the world.

Top Risks Expected to Increase in 2019:

38

According to report top 5 global risks in terms of likelihood are:

  • Extreme weather conditions
  • Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation
  • Natural disasters
  • Data fraud or theft
  • Cyber-attacks

The top 5 risks in terms of impact include:

  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation
  • Extreme weather events
  • Water crises
  • Natural disasters

 

 

 

In context of economics, what does the term ‘Tokenization’ mean?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • Tokenization is the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with an algorithmically generated number called a token.
  • In credit card tokenization, the customer’s primary account number (PAN) is replaced with a series of randomly-generated numbers, which is called the “token.”
  • These tokens can then be passed through the internet or the various wireless networks needed to process the payment without actual bank details being exposed.
  • The actual bank account number is held safe in a secure token vault.

Tokenisation Explained:

  • Tokenisation involves a process in which a unique token masks sensitive card details like card and CVV number.
  • The token is used to perform card transactions in contactless mode at Point Of Sale (POS) terminals, Quick Response (QR) code payments, etc.

Tokenisation in India:

  • The Reserve Bank of India has allowed tokenization of debit, credit and prepaid card transactions to enhance the safety of the digital payments ecosystem in the country.
  • Thus, the regulator will allow the card details to be masked while a transaction is processed at point of sales, QR codes and other payment modes.
  • This could be beneficial for mobile wallets, apps which allow cards to be stored for future transactions and also enhance the safety angle for contactless payments.
  • RBI has clearly said that additional factor authentication will still be applicable for tokenized card transactions.
  • The RBI has opened up this mode of transaction only for mobile phone or tablets and not for any other electronic devices.
  • Mastercard’s tokenisation service, Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) has been live in more than 50 over countries with over 1,500 banks enabled for tokenization.
  • Mastercard is working with all stakeholders in the Indian payments ecosystem — banks, merchants, PSPs and acquirers — to make sure that every card is token-ready, and can be used at a vast variety of outlets, both online and in-store.

 

 

 

SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India. What do you know about this programme?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India. It is designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality.
  • SWAYAM platform is indigenously developed by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) with the help of Microsoft and would be ultimately capable of hosting 2000 courses and 80000 hours of learning: covering school, under-graduate, post-graduate, engineering, law and other professional courses.

Objective:

  • To take the best teaching learning resources to all, including the most disadvantaged.
  • SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.

How it works?

  • The platform to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time.
  • All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to the residents in India.
  • More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the Country have participated in preparing these courses.
  • The platform covers courses from 9th class school to under-graduate, post-graduate, engineering, law and other professional courses.
  • The courses hosted on SWAYAM are in 4 quadrants – (1) video lecture, (2) specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed (3) self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and (4) an online discussion forum for clearing the doubts.
  • Steps have been taken to enrich the learning experience by using audio-video and multi-media and state of the art pedagogy / technology.
  • At the end of each course, there will be an assessment of the student through proctored examination and the marks/grades secured in this exam could be transferred to the academic record of the students.
  • SWAYAM shall be offered a certificate on successful completion of the course, with a little fee.

 

 

 

Government of India recently announced Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2015 to 2018. Who are the recipients of these awards?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • The award, conferred on individuals and institutions for their contribution to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.
  • The award was instituted in 1995 during the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary and is to be given annually.
  • The award carries an award of Rs 1 crore, a citation and a handicraft item.

Currently announced Awardees:

  • In February 2019, Prime Minister along with President of India presented the Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • It was given to Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari, for the year 2015. Vivekananda Kendra works on rural development and education.
  • For 2016, the award has been jointly given to Akshaya Patra Foundation for providing mid-day meals to children and to Sulabh International for its work on emancipating manual scavengers.
  • For 2017, the award will be given to Ekai Abhiyan Trust for its contribution to education for rural and tribal children.
  • For 2018, the award will be given to Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa for his role in leprosy eradication.
  • Gandhi Peace Prize was last conferred to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2014.

 

 

 

Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s agricultural institutions. Right OR Wrong?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer:

Right Statement:

  • SPARC aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions

Enrich Your Learning:

  • The Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) is a Ministry of Human Resource Development initiative.
  • SPARC aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian and foreign institutions.
  • Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) is a scheme which will encourage research collaborations between Indian universities and some of the leading universities of the world.
  • The SPARC scheme is furthering the already launched GYAN scheme.
  • 418 crores have been allotted for this scheme.
  • Under this scheme funding would be provided under three categories – below 50 lakhs, below 75 lakhs, and below 1 crore (project funding).
  • Each team that will be granted funding under this scheme shall comprise of eight members – 2 faculty members each from the Foreign University and Indian University and 2 students each from the foreign university and Indian university.
  • The quality benchmark for SPARC is that only such Indian institutes can apply which are in top 100 NIRF ranking or top 100 NIRF subject ranking.
  • For foreign universities the benchmark is either top 500 of QS ranking or top 200 of QS subject ranking.

 

 

 

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 provides that student will be detained in the same class if he/she fails once. Right OR Wrong?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer:

  • Wrong

Right Statement:

  • The bill provides for regular examination in classes V and VIII, and if a child fails, the amendment bill grants a provision to give her or him additional opportunity to take a re-examination within two months.

Enrich Your Learning:

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019

  • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament and received the assent of the President of India in January,2019.
  • The bill seeks to do away with the no-detention policy in schools.
  • The motion to pass the bill was accepted by voice vote in the upper house of the Parliament.

Aim:

  • The key aim behind the move is to rebuild the education system of the country.
  • Teacher’s training, quality and accountability and there is no shortage of teachers.

Significance:

  • The legislation is significant as it brings accountability in the elementary education system. The proposal received the support of a majority of state governments.
  • Many students have moved from private schools to government schools in some states, such as Sikkim, Kerala and Telangana.

RTE amendment Bill: Key Provisions

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the “no-detention” policy in schools.
  • As per the amendment, it would be left to the states to decide whether to continue the no-detention policy.
  • The detention policy has been brought back as it was felt that compelling children to repeat a class was demotivating, often forcing them to abandon school.
  • The bill provides for regular examination in classes V and VIII, and if a child fails, the amendment bill grants a provision to give her or him additional opportunity to take a re-examination within two months.
  • Such children will be provided with two-month remedial teaching to perform better in the re-examinations.
  • If the students still do not pass the exam, the state government may decide to detain them.

Why the amendment needed?

  • In recent years, States and Union territories have been raising the issue of adverse effect on the learning levels of children as Section 16 does not allow holding back of children in any class till the completion of elementary education.
  • Therefore, the amendment to the section was proposed in order to improve the learning outcomes in the elementary classes.
  • The amendment empowers the appropriate Government to take a decision as to whether to hold back a child in the fifth class or in the eighth class or in both classes, or not till the completion of elementary education.
  • Over 25 states favour abolishing the no-detention policy.

Right to Education (RTE) Act:

  • The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 provides for free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years.
  • The Section 16 of the Act provides that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education.
  • This provision was made in the said Act because examinations are often used for eliminating children who obtain poor marks, which compels children either to repeat the same grade or leave the school altogether.
  • It was felt that compelling a child to repeat a class is both de-motivating and discouraging.

 

 

 

What do you know about the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) is the flagship scheme of the Central Government for employment generation.
  • It is being implemented by Ministry of Labour and Employment through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
  • Under the scheme, Government is paying full employers’ contribution of 12% (towards Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees’ Pension Scheme both), for a period of 3 years in respect of new employees who have been registered with the EPFO on or after 1st April 2016, with salary up to Rs. 15,000 per month.
  • The entire system is online and AADHAR based with no human interface in the implementation of the scheme.
  • A direct benefit is that these workers have access to social security benefit through Provident Fund, Pension and Death Linked Insurance.

Eligibility Criteria for Applying for the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana:

  • The target of the PMRPY are workers earning wages less than INR 15000 per month and hence, the new employees who earn more than INR 15000 monthly, do not qualify for this scheme.
  • The business must be registered with the EPFO and must have a Labour Identification Number (LIN) that one can acquire under the Shram Suvidha Portal.
  • Under the PMPRY scheme, the Labour Identification Number will serve as the primary reference number for all official communication.

 

 

 

What are the key objectives of WorldSkills India?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer:

The key objectives of WorldSkills India are to:

  • Promulgate skills in society to motivate the youth to pursue vocational education.
  • Champion skills and learning for work through local, regional, national and international skills competitions
  • Create partnership network comprising of government, industry, academic partners, VET institutions, trade associations and youth to promote skills
  • Establish long-term association with WorldSkills International and other WorldSkills member countries

Enrich Your Learning:

Worldskills

  • WorldSkills is the global hub for skills excellence and development. It was found in 1950.
  • WorldSkills brings youth, industries, and educators together to give youth the chance to compete, experience, and learn how to become the best in their skill of choice.
  • WorldSkills vision is to improve the world through the power of skills.
  • It has 75 Member countries and regions, all working with youth, educators, governments, and industries to help prepare the workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future.

WorldSkills International competition:

  • WorldSkills International is the largest skill competition in the world, organised once every two years in one of the member countries.
  • More than 1300 contestants below the age of 23, compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, in over 50 skills.
  • The competition is held over a span of four days.

Worldskills India:

  • WorldSkills India is an initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India.
  • NSDC, through its WorldSkills India initiative, has been leading the country’s participation at WorldSkills International competitions since 2011.

National Skills Competition of India:

  • Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) & National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) launched India’s first National Skills Competition- IndiaSkills.
  • It is a biennial competition.

 

 

 

Who governs the Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC)?

Click to View the Answer
Click to View the Question

Answer:

  • The Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is governed by Board of Management which is chaired, ex-officio, by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare as the President.

Enrich Your Learning:

Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC):

  • Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is an Autonomous Society promoted by Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.
  • It was registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 on 18th January, 1994.
  • The Society is governed by Board of Management which is chaired, ex-officio, by Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare as the President.
  • The Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, is the ex-officio Vice-President.
  • As a part of the scheme State level SFAC were set up for agribusiness projects.
  • The Society has been entrusted with the task of implementation of the critically important Delhi KisanMandi and National Agriculture Market Scheme on e-platform to progressively free agricultural trade and offer price discovery to farmers.

The main functions of SFAC are:

  • Promotion of development of small agribusiness through VCA scheme.
  • Helping formation and growth of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) / Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs).
  • Improving availability of working capital and development of business activities of FPOs/FPCs through Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme.
  • Implementation of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Electronic Trading platform.
  • SFAC is implementing the central schemes of Government of India namely Venture Capital Assistance (VCA), Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme (EGCGS) for economic inclusion of small and marginal farmers in agribusiness activities.

Significance of SFAC:

  • SFAC has made substantial impact in the agriculture sector.
  • SFAC has emerged as a developmental Institution with its core aim and objective focused on increased production and productivity, value addition, provision of efficient linkages between producers and consumers.
Topics
70 Days Prelims Flash Cards 2019 Latest Posts Popular
Tags

Facebook

My Favourite Articles

  • Your favorites will be here.

Calendar Archive

June 2019
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930