FC-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-50
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#50 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

C. Rangarajan Committee (2012) on sugarcane pricing; “Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries”; National Litigation Policy, 2010; Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE); Zero budget natural farming practice (ZBNF); Cogeneration; Lemsachenlok Organization; Water Resource Information System (WRIS); Retrograde and prograde orbits;
By IT's Core Team
May 10, 2019

 

 

 

The Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is revamped as?

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Answer:

  • Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) is revamped as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) in May 2018.

Background:

  • Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) was identified as one of the Core of the Core Schemes under National Development Agenda.
  • The programme was launched in the year 2008-09 in 90 identified Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs).
  • The programme continued during 11th Five Year Plan.
  • It was a special area development scheme designed to address the ‘development deficits’ seen in Minority Concentration Districts.
  • The MsDP was restructured in June 2013 for implementation during 12th Five Year Plan and the area of implementation was replaced by Minority Concentration Blocks (MCB), Minority Concentration Towns (MCT) and Clusters of Villages.
  • The projects considered are additional class rooms, laboratories, school buildings, hostels, toilets, buildings for Polytechnics, ITIs, Community Health Centres, Primary Health Centres / Sub-centres, Anganwadi Centres, Rural Housing etc.

About Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK):

  • The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for effective implementation in May 2018.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) seeks to provide better socio-economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities.
  • It includes the field of education, health & skill development which would further lead to lessening of the gap between the national average and the minority communities with regard to backwardness parameters.
  • The restructured scheme is to be implemented during the remaining period of the 14th Finance Commissione., March 31, 2020.
  • The Programme aims to address development deficits in the identified minority concentration areas.
  • The identification of minority concentration areas has been done on the basis of presence of substantial population of notified Minority Communities based on Census, 2011.

Funding resources to the program:

  • 80% of the resources under the PMJVK would be earmarked for projects related to education, health and skill development.
  • 33 to 40% of resources under the PMJVK would be specifically allocated for women centric projects.

 

 

 

What are retrograde and prograde orbits?

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Answer:

  • Both are the orbital motion of an object described with respect to the movement of another object.

Retrograde orbits

  • Retrograde motion in astronomy is, in general, orbital or rotational motion of an object in the direction opposite the rotation of its primary, usually a star.
  • Here a satellite or any celestial body revolves opposite to its parent body’s direction of rotation.
  • Example Man made satellites orbiting the Earth.

Prograde orbits

  • Prograde or direct motion is motion in the same direction as the primary object (usually a star) rotates.
  • Here a satellite or celestial body revolves in the direction of rotation of the parent object.
  • Example Moon.

 

 

 

What are the objectives of Water Resource Information System (WRIS)?

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Answer:

About Water Resource Information System (WRIS):

  • Water Resource Information System is a short name for the project “Generation of Database and Implementation of Web Enabled Water Resources Information System in the Country” (INDIA-WRIS)
  • It is a joint venture of:
    • The Central Water Commission (CWC), Union Ministry of Water Resources, and
    • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Department of Space, Govt. of India.
  • It is a web based geographical information system.
  • It was based on the MoU signed on December 3, 2008 between the two departments for a period of four years – January 2009 to December 2012 and was extended till December 2017.
  • It aims to collect the necessary data from various sources, analysis of important data and developing a robust information system on water resources.
  • It contains all aspects of water resources and related data to design and provide data and information in public domain through India-WRIS WebGIS portal.
  • It allows users to search, access, visualize, understand and analyse comprehensive and contextual water resources data for assessment, monitoring, planning, development and finally Integrated Water Resources Management.
  • The information available under WRIS will enable users for the augmentation and judicious use of water resources in the country.

Objectives:

  • To collate available data from various sources, generate new database of country’s water resources in standardized Geographical Information system (GIS) and provide a thin client scalable web enabled information system;
  • To provide easier and faster access and sharing nationally consistent and authentic water resources data to various Water Resources departments, professionals and other stake holders for Integrated Water Resources management;
  • To provide tools to create value added maps by way of multi-layer stacking of GIS databases so as to provide integrated view of water resources issues;
  • To provide foundation for advance modelling purpose and future Spatial decision support system including automated data collection system;

 

 

 

What are the conservation efforts of Lemsachenlok Organization?

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Answer:

About Lemsachenlok Organization:

  • Lemsachenlok Society of Yaongyimchen village under Longleng district hails from Nagaland.
  • It won the much-coveted India Biodiversity Awards 2018 for Conservation of Wildlife Species under Institution category.

Conservation efforts of Lemsachenlok Organization:

  • Lemsachenlok took up community biodiversity conservation initiatives from 2008 and since then, hundreds of endangered wild species has returned to the conserved areas.
  • It works towards the conservation and protection of wildlife, and for sustainable resource management.
  • The organization has successfully created an 8-10 sq km Community Conserved Area to encourage coexistence and reduce human-wildlife conflict.
  • Local communities have stopped using guns and catapults and the organization has imposed a ban on logging, hunting, fishing and trapping.
  • The village has now become a safe haven for 85 species of birds, including Amur Falcons.
  • Though these little raptors are not endangered, hundreds of thousands of birds were found massacred earlier in the decade.
  • In the last 2-3 years, more than ten Lakhs Amur Falcons have been roosting in the Yaongyimchen Community Biodiversity Area.
  • 15 species of frogs, as well as the Indian Leopard, barking deer, sereow and otters are also protected by the community.

 

 

 

What is Cogeneration? And give its advantages.

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Answer:

About Cogeneration:

  • The production of electricity using waste heat (as in steam) from an industrial process or the use of steam from electric power generation as a source of heat is known as cogeneration.
  • Cogeneration is also known as combined heat and power (CHP) or Industrial Cogeneration.
  • It is simultaneous production of electricity and heat at the same time.
  • It can be also applied to the power systems generating simultaneously electricity, heat, and industrial chemicals e.g., syngas or pure hydrogen.
  • Cogeneration is a more efficient use of fuel because otherwise wasted heat from electricity generation is put to some productive use.
  • It is the most effective and efficient form of power generation.
  • It is the single biggest solution to the Kyoto targets.

Advantages of cogeneration:

  • An up to 30% reduction in your energy bill when compared against the supply of electricity and heat from conventional power stations and boilers.
  • A payback period of 3 to 5 years, depending on the size and location of your establishment.
  • Increased efficiency of energy conversion and use.
  • Lower emissions to the environment, in particular of CO2, the main greenhouse gas.
  • A 25% abatement in your CO2 emissions: a true gesture for the environment
  • Large cost savings, providing additional competitiveness for industrial and commercial users, and offering affordable heat for domestic users.
  • The possibility of financing the investment by a leasing or third-party investor scheme.
  • An opportunity to move towards more decentralised forms of electricity generation.
  • Improved local and general security of supply.
  • The development of CHP systems is a generator of jobs.

 

 

 

What is “zero budget natural farming practice (ZBNF)”?

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Answer:

Zero budget natural farming practice (ZBNF):

  • Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a set of farming methods, and a grassroots peasant movement, which has spread to various states in India.
  • It has attained wide success in southern India, especially in Karnataka where it first evolved.
  • Zero Budget Natural Farming means for all the crops, the production cost will be zero, nothing has to be purchased from outside.
  • It means farming with Nature and without chemicals.
  • It focuses on natural growth of crops without adding any fertilizers and pesticides or any other foreign elements.
  • All things required for the growth of the plant are available around the root zone of the plants. There is no need to add anything externally.
  • Indian soil is prosperous-full of nutrients, it takes only 1.5 to 2.0 % from the soil, while remaining 98 to 98.5% nutrients are taken from air, water & solar energy.
  • Hence there is no need to add fertilisers from outside.
  • The inputs used for seed treatments and other inoculations are locally available in the form of cow dung and cow urine.
  • Every green leaf produces the food throughout the day. These green leafs are food producing factories. What is used the leaves for producing the food?
  • It takes carbon dioxide & nitrogen from the air, water from the canal, river or well given by the monsoon clouds, and solar energy from the sun for producing the food.
  • When 98% crop body is constituted by air and water, then where is the need to add the fertilizers from the outside.
  • The system works along with the natural biodiversity of each farmed area, encouraging the complexity of living organisms—both plant and animal—that shape each particular ecosystem to thrive along with food plants.
  • It prevents water pollution, biodiversity loss and soil erosion, while providing ample amounts of food.

Background:

  • The movement in Karnataka state was born out of collaboration between Mr Subhash Palekar, who put together the ZBNF practices, and the state farmers association Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), a member of La Via Campesina (LVC).

What are the concerns?

  • The neo-liberalization of the Indian economy led to a deep agrarian crisis that is making small scale farming an unviable vocation.
  • Privatized seeds, inputs, and markets are inaccessible and expensive for peasants. Indian farmers increasingly find themselves in a vicious cycle of debt, because of the high production costs, high interest rates for credit, the volatile market prices of crops, the rising costs of fossil fuel-based inputs, and private seeds.
  • Debt is a problem for farmers of all sizes in India.
  • Under such conditions, ‘zero budget’ farming promises to end a reliance on loans and drastically cut production costs, ending the debt cycle for desperate farmers.

 

 

 

What do you know about “Bombay Stock Exchange”?

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Answer:

Bombay Stock Exchange:

  • Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) was formerly known as Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd.
  • It was established in 1875.
  • BSE is Asia’s first & the Fastest Stock Exchange in world with the speed of 6 micro seconds and one of India’s leading exchange groups.
  • It has provided an efficient capital-raising platform.
  • It provides an efficient and transparent market for trading in equity, currencies, debt instruments, derivatives, mutual funds.
  • It also has a platform for trading in equities of small-and-medium enterprises (SME).
  • India INX, India’s 1st international exchange, located at GIFT CITY IFSC in Ahmedabad is a fully owned subsidiary of BSE.
  • BSE is also the 1st listed stock exchange of India.
  • BSE is the first exchange in India and second in the world to obtain an ISO 9001:2000 certification.
  • It is also the first Exchange in the country and second in the world to receive Information Security Management System Standard BS 7799-2-2002 certification for its On-Line trading System (BOLT).
  • The BSE is the world’s 10th largest stock exchange with an overall market capitalization of more than $2.3 trillion on as of April 2018.
  • BSE’s popular equity index – the S&P BSE SENSEX – is India’s most widely tracked stock market benchmark index.
  • It is traded internationally on the EUREX as well as leading exchanges of the BRCS nations (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa).
  • The BSE has helped develop the country’s capital markets, including the retail debt market, and helped grow the Indian corporate sector.
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASDAQ, London Stock Exchange Group, Japan Exchange Group, and Shanghai Stock Exchange are other major international stock exchanges in the world.

 

 

 

What are the highlights of C. Rangarajan Committee (2012) on sugarcane pricing?

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Answer:

 C.Rangarajan Committee (2012) on sugarcane pricing:

  • The Chairman of the committee of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister led by C. Rangarajan submitted a Report on “The Regulation of Sugar Sector in India: The Way Forward” on October 5, 2012.
  • The Report examines the issues related to the regulation of the sugar sector and suggests ways to promote efficiency and investments in the sector.
  • It focuses on the various aspects such as:
    • Cane reservation area and bonding
    • Minimum distance criterion
    • Price of sugarcane
    • Levy sugar obligation
    • Regulated release of non-levy sugar
    • Trade policy for sugar
    • Regulations relating to by-products, etc.
  • The report highlighted challenges in the pricing policy for sugarcane as sugar is one of the most controlled industries in India.
  • These recommendations are in line with the industry’s demand for easing controls.
  • This is not the first committee set up by the government to study reforms in the sugar industry. Recommendations of the Tuteja Committee and Thorat Committee are yet to be seen.

Highlights of the report of the committee:

  • The Committee recommended deregulating the sugar sector with respect to pricing and levy sugar.
  • The report pitches for a stable trade policy and a moderate duty on imports and exports but wants outright ban or quantitative restrictions done away with.
  • Even though India contributes 17 per cent to the global sugar output, its share in exports is only four per cent.
  • Export and import policy should not be guided by domestic availability.
  • The committee suggested the removal of the concept of a minimum distance of 15 km between any two sugar mills, obligating a mill to buy cane from growers within the reservation area.
  • The mills must enter into contracts with farmers. This would help to phase out the cane reservation area and bonding.
  • The State Administered Price (SAP) of sugar cane set by the States should be done away with, in favour of the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) set by the Centre as the minimum.
  • Mills must share 70 per cent of the value of sugar and each by-product, including bagasse, molasses and press-mud (ex-mill), as cane dues payable to farmers for supplies.
  • The payment to farmers will be made in two steps: the first, the minimum FRP set by the Centre; and the second, subsequent to the publication of half-yearly ex-mill prices.
  • The system of levy sugar should be done away with.
  • The States that wanted to provide sugar under the TPDS might procure from the open market through competitive bidding, and also fix the issue price.
  • It also asked the government to rationalise the current issue price for TPDS sugar.
  • The prices of by-products should be market-determined with no earmarked end-use allocations.
  • The committee has also recommended doing away of the state’s power to reserve sugarcane area for mills, implying farmers can sell to any sugar mill they wish.

Main recommendations made by the committee:

  • Removal of levy sugar obligation from industry
  • Abolishing the regulated release mechanism for sugar sales
  • Export – Import policy — no quantity and time restrictions
  • Rationalisation of cane pricing policy
  • Linkage of cane price to value realised from sugar & by-products
  • phasing out cane area reservation
  • Dispensing with “minimum distance criteria” between mills
  • Removal Of controls on molasses & free up power sales
  • Removal of jute packing restrictions on sugar

 

 

 

Explain National Litigation Policy, 2010? And what is the way forward?

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Answer:

National Litigation Policy, 2010:

  • National Litigation Policy was formulated by the Ministry of Law and Justice of the Government of India in 2010.
  • It aims to bring down the litigation from government agencies by making them more responsible in filing cases.
  • The National Litigation Policy, 2010 was based on the recognition that Government and its various agencies are the pre-dominant litigants in courts and Tribunals in the country.
  • Its aim was to transform Government into an Efficient and Responsible litigant.
  • This policy was also based on the recognition that it is the responsibility of the Government to protect the rights of citizens, to respect fundamental rights and those in charge of the conduct of Government litigation should never forget this basic principle.
  • In 2015 there was a discussion to review the NLP.
  • The ongoing revision of the NLP needs to ensure certain critical features are not missed out.

Why was NLP 2010 not implemented?

  • The said Policy of 2010 could not be implemented due to its rhetoric and generic phraseology.
  • The NLP 2010 fails to provide a yardstick for determining responsibility and efficiency.
  • It also creates “Empowered Committees” at the national and regional levels, apparently to regulate the implementation of the policy.
  • But there is ambiguity about their role and powers, resulting in lack of transparency in their functioning.
  • The ambiguity in their roles and functions make them susceptible to a constitutional challenge.
  • It also lacks any form of impact assessment to evaluate actual impact on reducing government litigation.

Objectives:

  • The government to cease to be a compulsive litigant.
  • To ensure government agencies being responsible while filing cases
  • To bring in greater accountability regarding governmental litigation.
  • To elaborate set of guidelines obligating the government to be a model litigant.
  • To instruct to place correct facts, all relevant documents before the court/tribunal and not to mislead them.
  • To achieve the ‘zero delay regime’ in matters of filing appeals.
  • To deal with the suppression of the existing Instructions on the subject of filing of appeals to Courts.
  • To bring down the pendency of the cases by referring them on priority basis and reduce the government litigation.
  • To sensitize government in important cases and avoid delay and neglect of the same.
  • To urge all the state government to evolve similar policies.

Way forward:

  • It must have clear objectives that can be assessed.
  • The role of different functionaries must be enumerated.
  • The minimum standards for pursuing litigation must be listed out.
  • Fair accountability mechanisms must be established.
  • The consequences for violation of the policy must be provided.
  • A periodic impact assessment programme must be factored in.

Conclusion:

  • A litigation policy should have a profound effect on how the government thinks about itself as a litigant.
  • It can help curb the problem, provided it is a constructed with a thorough understanding of the problem and offers solutions based on evidence rather than conjecture.

 

 

 

Give the advantages and limitations of “Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries”.

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Answer:

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries:

  • A lithium-ion battery or Li-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.

Advantages:

  • High energy density – potential for yet higher capacities.
  • Does not need prolonged priming when new. One regular charge is all that’s needed.
  • Relatively low self-discharge – self-discharge is less than half that of nickel-based batteries.
  • Low Maintenance – no periodic discharge is needed; there is no memory.
  • Specialty cells can provide very high current to applications such as power tools.

Limitations:

  • Requires protection circuit to maintain voltage and current within safe limits.
  • Subject to aging, even if not in use – storage in a cool place at 40% charge reduces the aging effect.
  • Transportation restrictions – shipment of larger quantities may be subject to regulatory control. This restriction does not apply to personal carry-on batteries.
  • Expensive to manufacture – about 40 percent higher in cost than nickel-cadmium.
  • Not fully mature – metals and chemicals are changing on a continuing basis.
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