News: June 13, 2020

Sub: Geography
Topic: Environment Disaster Management
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 1/8

Disaster Management

Disaster Management Act, 2005

  • It provides for a three tier structural system to manage disasters with NDMA at the national level, State Disaster Management Authorities headed by Chief Ministers at the State level and District Disaster Management Authorities at district level.
  • The legislation also envisages responsibility on the central government to constitute National Disaster Response Fund and National Disaster Mitigation Fund.
  • Provisions for Imprisonment for a term up to two years or fine, or both for violating any provision of the DM Act.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

  • NDMA is the apex statutory body for disaster management in India, established through Disaster Management Act,  2005
  • It is the nodal division in Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for disaster management, and is chaired by Prime Minister
  • Composition - NDMA may have no more than nine members, and the tenure of the members shall be five years
  • NDMA Funds
    • The financial assistance from SDRF/NDRF is for providing immediate relief and is not compensation for loss/damage to properties /crops 
    • For projects exclusively for the purpose of mitigation, i.e, measures aimed at reducing the risk, impact or effect of a disaster or threatening disaster situation a separate fund called National Disaster Mitigation Fund has to be constituted
    • NDRF and SDRF accounts are audited by CAG every year
    • National Disaster Response Fund
      • NDRF was set up in accordance with Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005
      • NDRF is constituted to supplement the funds of the State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) of the states to facilitate immediate relief in case of calamities of a severe nature. 
      • Disaster (s) covered under NDRF: cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloud burst, pest attack and cold wave and frost 
      • Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) monitors relief activities for calamities associated with drought, hailstorms, pest attacks and cold wave frost; while rest of the natural calamities are monitored by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). 
      • In the event of a disaster of 'a severe nature', in which the funds needed for relief operations exceeded the balances in the SDRF account, additional assistance would be provided from the NDRF 
      • National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Disaster Management Authority takes decisions on the expenses from National Disaster Response Fund.
      • Allows individual and institutional contributions directly
    • State Disaster Response Fund:
      • SDRF was set up in accordance with Section 48 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
      • Fourteenth Finance Commission made provisions of funds for SDRF
      • Every state has to constitute State Executive Committee (SEC) as per section 20 of Disaster Management Act. SEC's administrative expenses are borne by state government.
      • Central Government contributes 75% of SDRF allocation for general category States/UTs; and 90% for special category States/UTs (NE States, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir)
      • Disaster (s) covered under SDRF: Cyclone, drought, earthquake, fire, flood, tsunami, hailstorm, landslide, avalanche, cloudburst, pest attack, frost and cold waves.
      • State Government may use up to 10 percent of the funds available under the SDRF for providing immediate relief to the victims of natural disasters that they consider to be ‘disasters’ within the local context in the State

Initiatives

  • IFLOWS-Mumbai - Flood warning system for Mumbai developed by Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Assam floods
  • July, 20
    • Finance Ministry clears proposal for individual and institutional contributions to NDRF

Sub: Science And Technology
Topic: Research and Technology Information Technology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 2/8

Apps And Portals In Focus

Centre

Apps

  • Aarogya Setu 
    • Developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
    • Its self assessment test is based on ICMR guidelines
    • When someone is tested COVID-19 positive, the testing lab shares this information with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),  the nodal government agency for COVID-19 testing, which then shares it with the Aarogya Setu server.
    • The App screen gives color codes green, yellow, orange, or red after doing risk assessment.
    • Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for air, train travel
  • e-Choupal 4.0 - By ITC Agri, and will provide end-to-end and personalized services to farmers on weather and markets on a real-time basis.
  • SWAYAM - Online portal by UGC, providing free online courses, however fees is required for certificate.
  • KURMA
    • App for turtle conservation. Provides a database for species identification, and location for nearest rescue centre
    • Developed by Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India

Portals

  • National Mission on Government e Marketplace (GeM), 2018
    • A dedicated e market, set up by Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is used for different goods & services procured by Government Organisations / Departments / PSUs.
      • Some States / UTs have signed an MoU to make procurement through GeM mandatory
      • Before GeM, Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) was used for facilitating procurement.
    • Provides online, end to end solution for procurement of commonly used goods and services for all Central Government Departments, State Governments and PSUs
    • "Country of origin" must on products
  • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID)
    • A master database of 21 databases designed to provide real-time information to fight terror and crime to Union Cabinet cleared central agencies
    • Under Ministry of Home Affairs. First conceptualised in 2009, the project aims to go live by December 31, 2020.
    • National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to access the centralised online database on FIRs and stolen vehicles.
  • Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping’ (ASEEM) - to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities

States

  • Delhi
    • Assess Koro na - Collecting data with a door to door survey done by Delhi government. It is done through BLO (Booth Level Officer), municipal corporation workers, ASHA workers, and ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife)
    • Rozgaar Bazaar - focusses on those who lost their jobs and businesses during pandemic
  • Maharashtra
    • Mahajobs - job portal

[In News: Latest]

  • Delhi launches Rozgaar Bazaar for helping those who lost jobs in pandemic

Sub: Economics
Topic: Banking, Finance and Tax System Finance and Banking - India
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 3/8

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

  • The Goods and Service Tax Act was passed in 2017.  GST is an indirect tax which replaced many indirect taxes such as the excise duty, VAT, services tax, CST, etc. GST is governed by GST council headed by Ministry of Finance
  • GST is a destination based tax, which means tax is collected at the point of consumption and not at the point of origin.
  • GST is also a multi-stage tax, where every stage of production is taxed. There are three components of GST:
    1. SGST – State GST, collected by the State government
    2. CGST – Central GST, collected by the Central government
    3. IGST – Integrated GST, collected by the Central government and shared with State based on pre defined rates by government. IGST is charged on transfer of goods and services from one state to another state

Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act

  • The Act provides for compensation to states for any loss in revenue due to the implementation of GST.
  • Compensation will be provided to a state for a period of five years from the date on which the state brings its State GST Act into force.
  • For the purpose of calculating the compensation amount in any financial year, year 2015-16 will be assumed to be the base year.  The growth rate of revenue for a state during the five-year period is assumed be 14% per annum.  
  • Any unutilised money in the Compensation Fund at the end of the compensation period will be distributed in the following manner: (i) 50% of the fund to be shared between the states in proportion to revenues of the states, and (ii) the remaining 50% will be part of the centre’s divisible pool of taxes.
  • GST Compensation Cess: GST Compensation Cess is a levy applicable in addition to the regular GST taxes (CGST + SGST on intrastate supplies and IGST on interstate supplies). GST Cess is levied on supply of certain notified goods (mostly luxury and demerit/sin category). The idea behind GST Compensation Cess was that as GST is a destination based tax, it resulted in loss to manufacturing states.

Recent Initiatives

  • 40th GST Council in June, 20 reduced late fee and interest for those with tax liabilities and waived off late fee completely for those with no tax liabilities

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • GST council notes only 45% of target collection in pandemic
  • Aug, 20
    • Central government announced that it has released the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation dues to States for 2019-20. The shortfall by Centre was covered up by excess collections in earlier years as well as some of the balance of inter-State GST from earlier years.

Sub: Society
Topic: Human Development Poverty and Employment
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 4/8

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment (MGNREGA)

National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005

Enacted in 2005, the Act guarantees the "right to work" to by providing 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members are willing to do unskilled manual work.

Salient features of MGNREGA:

  • Gram Panchayat after due verification will issue a Job Card within 15 days of application
  • Employment will be given within 15 days of application for work, if it is not then daily unemployment allowance as per the Act, has to be paid. Liability of payment of unemployment allowance is of the States
  • Work should ordinarily be provided within 5 km radius ofthe village. In case work is provided beyond 5 km, extrawages of 10% are payable to meet additionaltransportation and living expenses.
  • At least one-third beneficiaries shall be women
  • Funding
    • Centre to bear entire cost of wages of unskilled labours, 75% cost for material and wages of skilled/semi-skilled labours (states to bear rest 25%), and administrative expenses
    • States to provide unemployment allowance payable in case the StateGovernment cannot provide wage employment on time. States should also provide administrative expenses of State Employment Guarantee Council.
    • Districts to have dedicated accounts for MGNREGA funds.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Record job generation in Odisha’s Nabarangpur under MGNREGA
  • July, 20
    • 8.4 lakh poor households have completed at least 80 days of the 100-day limit for work under the MGNREGS and 1.4 lakh among those have completed the full quota
    • 12 districts have crossed annual NREGA work in 4 months.

Sub: Politics
Topic: Governance Agencies and Bodies
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 5/8

Corruption

Enforcement Directorate (ED)

  • Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance
  • It comprises officers from Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service and the Indian Administrative Service.
  • Enforcement Directorate enforces following two Acts
    • Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (FEMA) 
      • FEMA allows only authorised person (defined by Reserve Bank) to hold, transfer and exchange in foreign securities
      • It imposes a penalty of upto three times of original sum involved for contravening Acts' provision, or conditions subject for authorisation
      • Failing to make full payment of the penalty imposed under section 13, within a period of ninety days from the date on which the notice is served will make defaulter liable to civil imprisonment.
      • Section 37 empowers Enforcement Directorate to exercise the power of investigation for any contravention that may occur under FEMA.
    • Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 (PMLA)
      • The Act came into force in 2005, and provides for confiscation of property derived from money laundering, impose penalty and prison on confiscators
      • Financial Intelligence Unit - India (FIU-IND) is the central, national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions to enforcement agencies and foreign FIUs.
      • Investigation is to be carried by Enforcement Directorate.

State anti corruption bodies

Some states have their own anti-corruption agencies and courts

  • Anti-Corruption Bureau - Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan
  • Anti Corruption Organisation - uttar pradesh
  • Lokayukts - Kerala

[In News]

  • Rajasthan ACB to investigate MLA poaching in state
  • ED - Nirav Modi in PNB case. Sterling Biotech case

Sub: Politics
Topic: Judiciary
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 6/8

Detention And Prevention

Acts

Arms Act, 1959

  • Is an Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to arms and ammunition
  • Arms Act (Amendment), 2019 - The amendment reduces number of licensed firearm to 1, bans firearm manufacturing without license, 10 years to life imprisonment for taking firearm from a police personal, upto 2 years imprisonment for using firearms in celebratory gunfire

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

  • UAPA enables the government to impose ‘reasonable restrictions’ on the fundamental right to association (Article 19). The executive could declare any organization as unlawful and designate and criminalize what it deemed as ‘unlawful activities’, under Section 3.
  • The 2004 amendment defined terrorism act as a crime and granted powers to the central government to declare organizations as “terrorist” and impose a ban against them
  • Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019
    • Bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists 
    • if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizing properties that may be connected with terrorism
      • Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director General of Police for seizing properties
    • The Bill empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
      •  Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Delhi riots
    • UAPA : Elgaar Parishad case / Bhima-Koregaon case, Sharjeel Imam case

Sub: Geography
Topic: India Physical Setiings Climatology
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 7/8

Cyclones

Cyclones

Cyclones are centres of low pressure surrounded by closed isobars having increasing pressure outward, and closed air circulation from outside towards the central low pressure, in such a way that air blows inward in anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in southern hemishpere. Based on location, cyclones are of two types:

Temperate (Extratropical) cyclone

  • Temperate cyclones are atmospheric disturbances having low pressure in the centre and increasing pressure outward, characterized by converging and rising air cloudiness and precipitation.
  • They are formed in the region between 35°-65° latitudes in both hemisphere, due to convergence of two contrasting air masses - warm, moist and light tropical air mass; and cold, dense polar air mass. The polar fronts created due to these two opposing air masses are responsible for the development of temperate cyclones.

Tropical cyclone

  • Cyclones developed in the regions between tropics of Capricorn and Cancer are called tropical cyclones.
  • They are not regular and uniform. They are more vigorous and move with high velocity over oceans but become weak while moving over land. This is why these cyclones only affect coastal areas.
  • Tropical cyclones are not defined by fronts. They can also stay stationary for several days, and normally from east to west under the influence of trade winds.

[In News]

  • Cyclone Nisarga and Amphan

Sub: Economics
Topic: Indian Economy Evolution of Indian Economy
Weightage:
Category: Prelims & Mains

 

News: 8/8

Inflation

Inflation indices

India calculates its inflation on two price indices, i.e., the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Wholesale Price Index (WPI)

Wholesale Price Index (WPI) measures the average change in the prices of commodities for bulk sale at early stage of transaction. The index basket of the WPI covers commodities falling under the three major groups namely Primary Articles, Fuel and Power and Manufactured products. The base year for index basket calculation is taken as 2011-12

  • It is taken as Headline Inflation Rate in India.
  • It is calculated by Office of Economic Advisor  (OEA), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • WPI is used as deflator for many sectors of the economy including for estimating GDP by Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).
  • Key Highlights of WPI with 2011-12 as base year
    • New definition of wholesale price index does not include taxes in order to remove impact of fiscal policy
    • A separate ‘WPI Food Index’ was also created. WPI Food Index along with CPI Food Price Index helps monitor the food inflation effectively
      • Globally, food price index is being released by Food and Agriculture Organization 

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer Price Index is a measure of change in retail prices of goods and services consumed by defined population group in a given area with reference to a base year. Depending upon the socio-economic differentiations among consumers, India has four differing sets of CPI

  1. CPI for Industrial workers (CPI-IW) : CPI-IW measures change over time, in prices of a fixed basket of goods and services, consumed by Industrial Workers. It is compiled by Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour & Employment
  2. CPI for Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) and CPI for  Rural Labourers (CPI-RL) : Compiled by Labour Bureau, Ministry of Labour & Employment with 1986-87 as base year
  3. CPI-U and CPI-R : Compiled by Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme at base year 2010 . These indices reflect the changes in the price levels of various goods and services consumed by the urban and rural population respectively.
  4. Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) : CFPI is a measure of change in retail prices of food products consumed by a defined population with reference to base year. It is compiled by Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), with base year 2012.

[In News]

  • June, 20
    • Food inflation accelerates 9.28% in May
  • July, 20
    • CPI - Inflation rises to 6.09% on account of higher prices of food items

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