Flash Cards

Day#70 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

SpaceX Starship; Urban Co-operative banks (UCBs); Modern Monetary Theory (MMT); Exercise ‘HimVijay’; National Institute for Smart Government (NISG);
By IASToppers
October 14, 2019



What is National Institute for Smart Government?

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Answer: It is a not-for-profit company setup in a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in 2002. It is helping the government to realize the national e-governance vision.

Enrich Your Learning:

National Institute for Smart Government (NISG)

  • NISG is a not-for-profit company setup in a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in 2002.
  • In line with the recommendation of the National Taskforce on Information Technology and Software Development, Department of Information Technology (DIT) and the Department of Administrative Reforms (DAR&PG) set up National Institute for Smart Government.
  • The committee was headed by R R Shah.
  • NISG offers the orientation & efficiency of the private sector combined with the accountability of the public sector.
  • The 49% of NISG’s equity is held by Central Government and various State Governments, and 51% is held by institutional investors like NASSCOM and ILF&S.
  • The NISG Vision and Mission statements place emphasis on the Public Private Partnership.
  • The NISG’s clientele is limited to Central Government Ministries and Departments; State Government Departments; and Public Sector Undertakings.
  • NISG may work with International Development Agencies (Such as World Bank, UNDP, DFID) when the end recipient of that service is the Government.
  • NISG does not enter into any revenue generating engagements with Private sector.
  • Over the past 10 years, NISG has provided services to several Central Ministries and State Governments and has been associated with 18 of the 27 MMPs.
  • All the engagements executed by NISG so far have been awarded on nomination basis only.
  • As a policy and practice, NISG does not participate in any bidding process.
  • The general practice adopted by all the departments/organizations is to get specific internal approvals by the competent authorities



What do you know about Military exercise HimVijay? How it is related with Integrated Battle Groups (IBG)?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:
About Exercise HimVijay

  • It is a military being conducted by Indian military in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam with its newly created Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) involving 15,000 troops. This is the first exercise of Mountain Strike Corps of IBG raised to meet any threat from China.

What are Integrated Battle Groups?

Integrated Battle Groups

About Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs)

  • IBGs are brigade-sized, self-sufficient combat formations, which can swiftly launch strikes against adversaryin case of hostilities.
  • Each IBG would be tailor-made based on Threat, Terrain and Task (3 Ts)and resources will be allotted based on the three Ts.
  • They will be able to mobilise within 12-48 hrsbased on the location.
  • The composition of IBGs will depend upon whether it is defensive or offensive. While the offensive IBGs would quickly make thrust into enemy territory for strikes, defensive IBGs would hold ground at vulnerable points or where enemy action is expected.

How does IBGs fit into current Indian Military Structure?

  • While a commandis the largest static formation of the Army spread across a defined geography, a corps is the largest mobile Typically, each corps has three divisions and each division has three brigades.
  • The aim is to reorganise brigades into IBGs which are brigade-sized units but have all the essential elements like infantry, armoured, artillery and air defenceembedded together based on the three Ts.


  • During the 2001 terrorist attack on the Parliament, the Indian military took weeks to mobilise army losing the element of surprise.
  • Following this, the Army formulated a proactive doctrine known as ‘Cold Start’ to launch swift offensive.
  • Moreover, Indian Army has initiated four major studies to undertake overall transformation of the force.
  • Restructuring of Army Headquarters
  • Force restructuring which includes creation of Integrated Battle Groups (IBG)
  • The cadre review of officers
  • Review of the terms and conditions of Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks.



Which economic theory rejects that government borrowing has an effect of increasing the cost of borrowing or the interest rate paid by individuals and businesses?

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  • Modern Monetary Theory

Enrich Your Learning:

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)

  • Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) states that countries that have the sovereign right to print their own currency can never run out of money and default.
  • Modern Monetary Theory attempts to provide a solution to fund-strapped countries such as India.
  • MMT believes that governments can use taxes as a means to make people use the currency as well as to control inflation.
  • In other words, the theory gives governments the leeway to spend as much as they want on public expenditure and not worry about ballooning fiscal deficit or government debt.
  • The theory, supported by economists such as Stephanie Kelton, L Randall Wray, Bill Mitchell and Warren Mosler, recently came in the limelight when US politician, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, stated that the theory needs to find a place in discussions revolving around stimulating growth.
  • MMT argue that government borrowing should not be equated with borrowing of individuals and businesses and that governments just cannot default, as long as they can print notes to service the loan.



Who regulates the functioning of Urban Cooperative Banks?

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  • Unlike commercial banks, UCBs are only partly regulated by the RBI. The banking operations are regulated by RBI but management is regulated by Registrar of Co-operative Societies either under the State or Central government.

Enrich Your Learning:

Urban Co-operative banks (UCBs)

  • The concept of Co-operative banks was born out of the concept of co-operative credit societies where members from a community band together to extend loans to each other, at favourable terms.
  • The co-operative banks are broadly classified into urban or rural co-operative banks based on their region of operation.
  • Urban co-op banks are classified into scheduled and non-scheduled banks.
  • The commercial banks which are structured as joint stock companies, UCBs are structured as co-operatives, with their members carrying unlimited liability.
  • There is a clear distinction between a commercial bank’s shareholders and its borrowers, in a UCB borrowers can double up as shareholders.
  • In the event UCBs fail, deposits with them are covered by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India up to a sum of ₹1 lakh per depositor, the same as for a commercial bank.
  • UCBs remain quite a hit with retail savers and small businesses because they offer attractive interest rates on deposits, far higher than commercial banks.



Recently, a prototype of spacecraft had been launched to take people to the Moon and Mars. What is the name of that spacecraft and who launched it?

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Answer: The name of the spacecraft’s protype is SapceX Starship and Elon Musk had launched it.

Enrich Your Learning:

SpaceX Starship

  • It is the next-generation Starship spacecraft prototype design unveiled by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk that will take people or cargo to the moon, Mars or other destinations in space or around Earth.
  • SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft will be capable of carrying up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights and deliver as much as around 100 tons of payload for building bases on Moon and Mars cities.
  • Starship is expected to reach orbit in six months due to design improvements in the spacecraft.


  • Starship was first unveiled in 2016 as a fully reusable spacecraft and back then, it was called Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).
  • In 2017, it was renamed the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and the design was updated as well.
  • The spacecraft was finally named Starship in 2018 with more design improvements.
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