Flash Cards

[Current Affairs] Flash Cards Sample Set #4

‘CARA’; What is ECOSOC? What is Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM)? “Start-up Sangam” initiative; What is Public Financial Management System (PFMS)
By IT's Research Team
March 18, 2019



What is Public Financial Management System (PFMS)? & Why government consider it important?

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What is Public Financial Management System?

PFMS is an electronic fund tracking mechanism compiles, collates and makes available in real-time, information regarding all government schemes.

  • The PFMS, also known as Central Plan Scheme Monitoring System (CPSMS), tracks fund disbursement and ensures that state treasuries are integrated with the Centre to ensure money is send as and when required.
  • PFMS, administered by the department of expenditure, is an end-to-end solution for processing payments, tracking, monitoring, accounting, reconciliation and reporting. It is a web based application.
  • It provides the government real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.
  • In addition, the platform will allow government expenditure to adopt a Just-in- Time (JIT) approach, with payments made only when they are needed.
  • The government has set a target to integrate PFMS with all state treasuries in current fiscal and implement Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for welfare and scholarship schemes.

In future, Government aims to transform PFMS to Government-wide Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) as a comprehensive payment, receipt and accounting system.


Significance of the PFMS:

  • The PFMS aims to help in complete tracking and monitoring flow of funds to implementing agencies and ensuring timely transfer of funds.
  • It will help government to ascertain actual status of utilization of funds by multiple implementing agencies of central and the state governments.
  • It will also cut need for paper work and in long way help in monitoring and tracking of any unnecessary parking of funds by implementing agencies, thus minimising cases of delay and pending payments to large extent.
  • It will help to plug leakages in system and help to manage and maintain data that government can use to develop more scientific approach.



Recently Petroleum ministry has launched “Start-up Sangam” initiative. What is it all about?

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  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has launched new “Start-up Sangam” Programmes for entrepreneurs in Oil and Gas sector.
  • The initiative is aimed to develop new business models, marketing plans, technology and innovations in heavy oil and gas industry sector.

new Start-up Sangam iastoppers

  • 10 oil and gas PSUs have setup Rs. 320-crore venture capital fund to encourage start-ups based on innovative ideas in the energy sector.
  • The corpus was created by contributions from India Oil Corporation (IOL), ONGC, Engineers India, Oil India, Numaligarh Refinery, Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HP), GAIL), Balmer Lawrie and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals.
  • In the first round of the scheme, nearly 30 start-up projects have been selected for support.
  • The selected start-ups will work in various fields related to energy such as
  1. Electronic leak detector for detecting body and bung leak of LPG cylinders
  2. Self – sustaining low-maintenances toilets, or eco-toilets
  3. Multiuse Fuel from Agricultural Waste Biomass
  4. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for underwater inspections
  5. Converting waste plastics to high value petroleum fuels
  6. Solar Stove- Revolutionary Day and Night Indoor Solar Cooktop System for all lifestyles



The term ‘CARA’ sometimes seen in the news. What is it?

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  • The Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) is statutory body of Ministry of Women & Child Development established under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015.

iastoppers Central Adoption Resource Authority

  • It is a nodal body for adoption of Indian children.
  • It is mandated to monitor and regulate in-country and inter-country adoptions.
  • CARA primarily deals with adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children through its associated /recognised adoption agencies.
  • It deals with inter-country adoptions according to Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption, 1993 ratified by India in 2003.
  • Recently CARA has started a monthly “Jan Sampark” program to enable the public to have interaction with its officials and staff for seeking information related to Adoption as well as flagging their concerns.



What is ECOSOC? & What are the functions of ECOSOC?

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  • The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was established in 1945 as one of the six main UN organs which were established by the UN Charter.
  • It is the United Nations’ central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.
  • It is at the heart of the United Nations system to advance the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.
  • It holds one four-week session each year in July, and since 1998, it has also held an annual meeting in April with finance ministers heading key committees of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).



  • ECOSOC is the ‘principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally agreed development goals.’
  • It supervises the subsidiary and expert bodies in the economic, social and environmental fields.

 India and ECOSOC:

  • In 2017, India has won its re-election to for another three-year term. India was one among the 18 nations to win election to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).



What is Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM)? What are its health impacts? Is there any treatment available?

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What is Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM)?

  • Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is a serious, life-threatening condition — characterized by severe wasting (thinness) or bilateral edema — that results from illness, lack of appropriate foods, or other underlying causes.
  • SAM affects millions of children under the age of five years worldwide, in both emergency and non-emergency settings.
  • SAM is diagnosed by confirming that a child’s weight (6-59 months) is much too low, relative to their height (weight-for-height z-score < -3), their mid-upper arm circumference is too small (MUAC <115mm), or they have edema (or swelling) in both feet.
  • Most children suffering from SAM are in sub-Saharan Africa or south Asia, but manmade and/or natural disasters leave children vulnerable to SAM around the world.

Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) iastoppers

Health impacts:

  • Severe Acute Malnutrition is a serious health problem that impedes physical growth and cognitive development.
  • SAM children have reduced immunity and deranged metabolic system which renders the body weak and makes them susceptible to common diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, or even death, if left untreated.


  • In 2007, Ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) was endorsed as the standard of treatment worldwide for severe acute malnutrition by UNICEF, WHO, WFP, and the UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition.

How many children in India suffer from SAM?

  • The latest official data from Integrated Child Development Scheme or ICDS suggests that as of 2012, there are 1.4 million severely malnourished children in India.
  • MSF’s 2014 survey results indicate that the prevalence of SAM in Bihar’s Darbhanga district is 3.7 %, which represents nearly 22,000 children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

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