Flash-Cards-Quiz-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-64
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#64 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

National Auto Policy 2018; National Flag Code, 2002; Central Asia; National Automotive Council (NAC); United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); Ravindra Dholakia Committee; Golden Crescent; Institution of Eminence (IoE) status; Real Effective Exchange Rate and Real Exchange Rate; Minimum Support Price (MSP);
By IT's Core Team
May 24, 2019

 

 

 

What is A2 and C2 in context of fixing Minimum Support Prices of crops?

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Answer:

What is Minimum Support Price (MSP)?

  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is a form of market intervention by the Government of India to insure agricultural producers against any sharp fall in farm prices.
  • It was announced for the first time in 1966-67, in the wake of green revolution.
  • The minimum support prices are announced by the Government of India at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
  • It aims to protect the producer or farmers, against excessive fall in price during bumper production years.
  • The minimum support prices are a guarantee price for their produce from the Government.
  • The major objectives are to support the farmers from distress sales and to procure food grains for public distribution.

What is A2 & C2?

  • The production cost is calculated by the CACP which creates huge difference in the final MSP calculated.
  • To maintain this distinction between paid out costs and costs not actually incurred by the producers, CACP uses two broad concepts, namely Cost A2 and Cost C2.
  • Cost A2 is actual paid out cost.
    • It includes all expenses paid by farmers in cash or kind in production of the crop.
    • It includes seed, fertiliser, manure, chemicals, hired human, bullock and machine labour, irrigation expenses, maintenance cost, etc.
    • It also includes imputed cost of own seed, manure, bullock and machine labour, rent paid for leased in land, depreciation of assets and interest on working capital.
  • Cost C2 is the comprehensive cost which includes rent of own land and interest on own capital.
    • It is arrived at by adding Cost A2 to the imputed cost of farmers’ own family labour, interest on fixed capital and rental value of own rent.
  • A2+FL is the actual paid cost plus the value of family labour.

 

 

 

What is the difference between Real Effective Exchange Rate and Real Exchange Rate?

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Answer:

About Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER):

  • Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER), is defined as a weighted average of nominal exchange rates adjusted for relative price differential between the domestic and foreign countries.
  • It is the weighted average of a country’s currency in relation to an index or basket of other major currencies, adjusted for the effects of inflation.
  • The weights are determined by comparing the relative trade balance of a country’s currency against each country within the index.
  • REER is calculated on the basis of NEER.
  • It relates to the purchasing power parity (PPP) hypothesis.
  • It measures the value of a currency against a basket of other currencies.
  • It takes into account changes in relative prices and shows what can actually be bought.
  • It is an important measure when assessing its trade capabilities and current import/export situation.
  • It can be used to measure the equilibrium value of a country’s currency, identify the underlying factors of a country’s trade flow, look at any changes in international price or cost competition and allocate incentives between tradable and non-tradable sectors.

What is Real Exchange Rate (RER):

  • The real exchange rate (RER) compares the relative price of two countries’ consumption baskets.
  • The real exchange rate describes how many of a good or service in one country can be traded for one of that good or service in another country.
  • It is calculated in the basis of the nominal exchange rate and the price of the two countries’ consumption baskets.
  • When the real exchange rate is high, the relative price of goods at home is higher than the relative price of goods abroad.
  • Thus, net exports decrease as imports rise.
  • Alternatively, when the real exchange rate is low, net exports increase as exports rise.

 

 

 

Institution of Eminence (IoE) status is accorded only to Public institutions. Right OR Wrong?

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Answer:

Wrong.

Right Statement:

  • Institution of Eminence (IoE) status is accorded to both public and private institutes.

About Institution of Eminence (IoE) status:

  • The University Grants Commission (UGC), under Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) grants Institutions of Eminence (IoE) status to public and private institutes.
  • The move is part of a scheme of the ministry to select 20 IoEs, 10 public and 10 private, in an initiative aimed at creating world-class colleges in India.
  • The IoE status is being given for the sole purpose of being a university that can be a world class one in the years to come.
  • It thus, gives them autonomy in a range of activities and, funds for public universities.
  • IoEs will get greater autonomy to start new courses, admit foreign students, hire foreign faculty, and collaborate with foreign institutions without government approval.
  • The public universities will get Rs 1,000 crore each for the next 10 years.
  • Private institutes will not be eligible for government funding but, like the public IoEs, they will enjoy academic and administrative autonomy.
  • IoE status will ensure that the regulatory oversight is eased for such universities to pursue excellence.
  • This will enable them to be free from regulations of the AICTE, UGC, or the Higher Education Commission of India that is set to replace the UGC.
  • Former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami is the chairperson of the empowered expert committee (EEC) created to select the institutes.
  • These institutions will be permitted to admit 30% foreign students with no restrictions on fees charged from them, hire foreign faculty to the tune of 25% of the total faculty and enter into academic collaborations with the top 500 global universities without UGC approval.
  • They will also have full flexibility in evolving curricula and syllabi.

What is the need?

  • No University in India is well funded.
  • Even the research is rare.
  • Universities in India are largely teaching shops judged on creating glorified clerk’s and not entrepreneurship, researchers and creators. It just creates consumers.

The parameters for setting up Greenfield institutions:

They are issued by HRD:

  • Availability of land for construction of the institution
  • Putting in place a core team with very high qualification and wide experience
  • Making available funding for setting up the institution
  • A strategic vision plan with clear annual milestones and action plan

 

 

 

What is Golden Crescent known for?

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Answer:

About Golden Crescent:

  • The Golden Crescent is Asia’s principal areas of illicit opium production, located at the crossroads of Central, South, and Western Asia.
  • The region is comprising Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, where opium has been grown for hundreds of years.
  • The mountainous peripheries of these region define the crescent.
  • This area has been a main source of supply of heroin to the UK.
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan produce opium, with Iran being a consumer and trans-shipment route for the smuggled opium.
  • Afghanistan is the worlds largest producer of opium.
  • It produces over 90% of the world’s non-pharmaceutical-grade opium.
  • In addition to opiates, Afghanistan is also the world’s largest producer of hashish (a drug made from cannabis; herbal cannabis is referred to as marijuana, hashish is cannabis resin).

Other fact:

  • The Golden Triangle is a mountainous area of Burma, Laos and Thailand just south of the Chinese border, where opium has been grown for hundreds of years.
  • It has been one of the most extensive opium-producing areas of Asia and of the world since the 1950s.
  • Most of the world’s heroin came from the Golden Triangle until the early 21st century when Afghanistan became the world’s largest producer.

Impact on India:

  • The location of India is in between these two areas of Golden triangle and Golden crescent as well.
  • So the future problem will not be either terrorism or insurgencies, but OPIUM.
  • Drug menace is assuming very dangerous proportions.
  • It could spoil the future of nations. The effect could already be seen in the border areas of the state adjoining Punjab and Kashmir.

 

 

 

What is Ravindra Dholakia Committee known for?

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Answer:

About Ravindra Dholakia Committee:

  • The Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on June 30, 2018 formed a 13-member Ravindra Dholakia committee.
  • It aimed to upgrade the norms for computation of economic data at states and districts level in the backdrop of plans to revise the base year for National Accounts or GDP calculation.
  • The Committee for Sub-National Accounts will be headed by Ravindra H Dholakia, a retired professor of IIM Ahmedabad.
  • The panel will review the concepts, definitions, classifications, data conventions, data sources and data requirements for preparation of State Domestic Product (SDP) and District Domestic Product (DDP) to lay down revised guidelines.
  • The MOSPI will change the base year to 2017-18 for the calculation of the GDP and IIP from the current 2011-12 with an aim to capture changes in the economy.
  • It will also suggest measures for improving SDP and DDP in the country taking into consideration availability of data and requirements of the Centre and states/union territories.

 

 

 

What is the role of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)?

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Answer:

About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):

  • Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.
  • It is headquartered in Beijing.
  • The bank was proposed by China in 2013 and the initiative was launched at a ceremony in Beijing in October 2014.
  • It became operational in January 2016.
  • It has 87 approved members from around the world.
  • Its purpose is to provide finance to sustainable infrastructure development and regional connectivity projects in Asia-Pacific region.
  • Major economies that are not members include Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, and the United States.
  • The authorised capital of bank is of US $100 billion, equivalent to 2⁄3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.
  • China is largest shareholder of AIIB with 26.06% voting shares.
  • India with 7.5% vote share is second largest shareholder followed by Russia, Germany and South Korea.
  • The United Nations has addressed the launch of AIIB as having potential for “scaling up financing for sustainable development” for the concern of global economic governance.
  • It received the highest credit ratings from the three biggest rating agencies in the world and is seen as a potential rival to World Bank and IMF.
  • The bank’s governance structure is composed of the Board of Governors as the top-level and highest decision-making body.
  • It is composed of 1 governor for each member state of the bank and in principle meets once a year.
  • Nine of those members are from within the Asia-Pacific region and three representing members outside the region.

 

 

 

What is the role of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)?

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Answer:

About United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA):

  • UNRWA is created by United Nations General Assembly resolution, with the initial mandate to provide “direct relief and works programmes” to Palestine refugees.
  • It was aimed to prevent conditions of starvation and distress and to further conditions of peace and stability.
  • UNRWA takes over from the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees (UNRPR), established in 8th December 1948 following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • UNRWA is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.
  • UNRWA works to safeguard and advance the rights of Palestine refugees by ensuring quality services reach vulnerable communities and individuals
  • It is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States.
  • Its services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.
  • The General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2020 due to absence of solution to Palestinian refugee problem.
  • UNRWA has contributed to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees.
  • UNRWA’s members are Belgium, Egypt, France, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States; the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has observer status.
  • UNRWA provides camps, food, clothing, schools, vocational training, and health clinics, often working in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Aid is provided in five areas of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, while the aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR.

 

 

 

What are the salient features of the National Auto Policy 2018?

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Answer:

About the National Auto Policy 2018:

  • The Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises has released the draft National Auto Policy in February 2018, to promote green mobility.

Salient features:

  • The policy also envisages propelling India’s automotive industry amongst the top three nations in the world in engineering, manufacturing and export of automotive vehicles and components.
  • It seeks to promote clean and safe mobility and adopt a long-term roadmap to harmonise emission standards with global benchmarks by 2028.
  • It also aims to improve the brand recognition, competitiveness and technological advancement of the Indian automotive industry across the world.
  • The objective is a to provide a long-term, stable and consistent policy regime and to have a clear roadmap for the automotive industry, making India a globally competitive auto R&D and manufacturing hub and achieving the targeted objectives of green mobility.
  • It focusses on environmental protection and affordability.
  • It also proposes creation of a nodal body with a two-tier structure having an Apex Body supported by the National Automotive Council (NAC).
  • The policy eyes adoption of a long-term roadmap for emission standards beyond Bharat Stage VI and harmonise the same with global standards by 2028.
  • It also envisions the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) norms till 2025 and beyond, for improving the average fuel economy of vehicles, and fix incentives or penalties.
  • The objectives of the National Auto Policy will be met through policy interventions across five identified focus areas these include:
    • innovation,
    • research,
    • development,
    • value chain, and
    • domestic capabilities.
  • It will enable the country’s automotive sector to become one of the largest employment creation engines and for India to become a global hub for research & development.
  • While the industry prepares to meet the BS-VI timeline, it is important to provide visibility on emission standards even beyond BS-VI, to enable the industry to plan it technology and investment roadmap.
  • It proposes to define emission standards that will be applicable after BS-VI.
  • It will drive the R&D efforts in the automotive sector towards indigenous research, design and engineering in both automotive vehicles and components.
  • The Policy proposes lowering of import duties, that will be applicable to capital goods, equipment and machinery for manufacture of new technology components.
  • The draft policy suggests utilising the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal, to aggregate all green vehicle orders with standard specifications and enable bulk procurement.
  • The policy recommends conducting a detailed study on requirement of public infrastructure for green vehicles to make the necessary infrastructure investments for green mobility.
  • The policy proposes improving the skill development and training eco-system and advocate increasing the accountability of Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) to achieve this.
  • The draft policy suggests ASDC to implement a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) to facilitate aggregated information of certified candidates.
  • The policy entails incentivising Public Private Partnership (PPP) based industry investments particularly for research and development of commercially viable technologies through a Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM).

National Automotive Council (NAC):

  • Members of the Apex Body will be Ministers and Secretaries from the ministries of commerce and industry; environment, forest and climate Change; finance; labour and employment; petroleum and natural gas; and power, among others.
  • In addition to representation from the ministries, the apex body will include eminent stakeholders nominated from the industry and academia.
  • The key functions and powers of the Apex Body are to finalise and notify the short term and long-term industry roadmap.
  • It will also approve the key interventions, projects and incentives required and prioritise the critical initiatives, besides highlighting potential issues due to conflicting regulations and policies by different ministries.
  • The Apex Body will also recommend to the government any new legislation or amendment to existing legislations.
  • The NAC on the other hand will be tasked with formulating the regulatory roadmap and conducting techno-commercial assessment of implications.
  • It will also identify funding requirements for key projects and co-ordinate across ministries to ensure alignment in policy and regulatory decisions.
  • The Council will also monitor industry performance and recommend key interventions and course corrections.

 

 

 

Which countries constitute the part of Central Asia?

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Answer:

  • The region of Central Asia consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Central Asia stretches:
    • from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and
    • from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north.
  • It is also colloquially referred to as “the stans” as the countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix “-stan”, meaning “land of”.
  • Mongolia is in East Asia.
  • While Afghanistan is sometimes categorized under Central Asia, it actually lies between Central and South Asia.

Other facts:

  • Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road.
  • It has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, Western Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.
  • The Silk Road connected Muslim lands with the people of Europe, India, and China.
  • This crossroads position has intensified the conflict between tribalism and traditionalism and modernization.

 

 

 

What do you know about National Flag Code, 2002?

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Answer:

About Flag Code of India:

  • The Flag Code of India is a set of laws, practices, conventions, instructions and guidelines that apply to the display of the national flag.
  • The Flag Code of India, 2002, took effect from January 26, 2002 and superseded the “Flag Code-India” as it existed earlier.
  • Flag Code of India, 2002, has been divided into three parts.
    • Part I of the code contains a general description of the national flag.
    • Part II of the code is devoted to the display of the national flag by members of public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc.
    • Part III of the code relates to display of the national flag by Central and state governments and their organizations and agencies.
  • The Flag Code of India 2002 permits unrestricted display of the tricolour, consistent with the honour and dignity of the flag.
  • The display of the national flag is governed by the provisions of:
    • The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and
    • The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2016, has issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories to ensure strict compliance of the Flag Code on important national events.
  • The bench headed by Chief Justice V N Khare said that under Article 19(1)A of the Constitution, citizens had the fundamental right to fly the national flag on their premises around the year, provided the premises do not undermine the dignity of the tricolor.
  • Insult to the National Flag will attract a prison term of 3 years.
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