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Q1-Which of the following gives 'Global Gender Gap Index' ranking to the countries of the world? (a) World Economic Forum (b) UN Human Rights Council (c) UN Women (d) World Health Organization
Q2-Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)? I. It decides the RBI's benchmark interest rates. 2. It is a 12-member body including the Governor of RBl and is reconstituted every year. 3. It functions under the chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister. Select the correct answer using the code given below: (a) I only (b) I and 2 only (c) 3 only (d) 2 and 3 only
Telangana yet to act on 'illegal'occupants of forest land (GS-2) (Page-5) Rejected claims of forest rights are set to become the next bone of contention between the claimants and the Forest Department. With regard to a Supreme Court's directive asking details of action taken against the forest rights claimants whose claims have been rejected, the Telangana Forest Department has written to the government that there was no provision in the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (commonly known as Forest Rights Act or ROFR Act), to penalise such claimants. Telangana was, incidentally, one among the eight states pulled up and fined by the Apex Court in April this year for not furnishing the details on time.Along with Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana State government was asked to pay costs of Rs. 50,000 to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee for utilisation in juvenile justice issues. "We are imposing costs since the matter pertains to rights of tribals, and therefore the State should take the matter somewhat more seriously than what they have been doing" the order said, with regard to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO Wildlife First against the Ministry of Environment and Forests. During the previous hearing in March, the SC hacd asked for details such as the number of claims for forest rights, categorised between tribals and traditional forest dwellers, number of rejected claims, extent of land over which claims were made and rejected in the two categories, action taken against the rejected claimants, the status of their eviction, and the extent of area in respect of which eviction has not yet taken place
* The time given was four weeks, but no State could come up with the details within the duration, except Jharkhand, which had furnished only partial details. As per the information available on the website of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in TS, individual forest rights were accorded to 93,639 claimants for over more than three lakh acres of forest land. Close to 90,000 claims were rejected over three lakh more acres, which entitles the govt. to evict them under the ForestAct, sources informed. However, no action has been taken so far, and those without rights are still in occupation of the forest land. Managing Trustee of the Wildlife First Praveen Bhargav said that of a total of 44 lakh claims nationwide, 22.5 lakh have been rejected and no attempt has been made to evict those claimants. Dismissing the excuse of the Forest Dept. that the ROFRAct has no penal provisions, Mr. Bhargav cited an earlier observation by the SC in 2016, that such claimants were to be evicted. 3
'Ganga stretches in Bengal unfit for bathing' (GS-2) (Page-6) A recent map published by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has revealed that water in nearly a dozen major stretches of the Ganga in West Bengal is so polluted that it is even unfit for bathing.The development comes at a time when the Centre has claimed that the Namami Gange project,with a budget of 20,000 crore, has achieved considerable succes The graphic map which marks the areas where the water of the Ganga is unfit for bathing with red dots shows that the pollution level in II major stretches of the Ganga spread across five districts and Kolkata is so high that it is even unfit for bathing.Apart from Kolkata (Garden Reach), the other affected stretches of the Ganga are located in the districts of Howrah (Uluberia, Shibpur). Hooghly (Tribeni,Serampore).North 24 Paraganas (Palta, Dakhineswar), Nadia (Nabadwip) and Murshidabad (Gorabazar, Behampore, Khagra).
Dissolved oxygen The CPCB guidelines, upon which the map is based, states that water is fit for bathing when the amount of fecal coliform bacteria, found mainly in human faeces, is not more than 2,500 most probable number (MPN) per 100 ml, dissolved oxygen is not more than 5 mg per litre, bio chemical oxygen demand is less than 3 mg per litre and the pH level-measurement of how acidic the water is, is between 6.5 to 8.5 Apart from West Bengal, the water of the Ganga is also unfit for bathing in States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The map further reveals that Uttrakhand remains the only exception with 11 stretches of the Ganga being fit for bathing along with Ara town in Bihar. A. The map was published after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) authorities to set up display board along the banks of the Ganga at a gap of 100 km to indicate whether the water was fit for bathing or drinking West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) chairman Kalyan Rudra told The Hindu that "West Bengal is located at the downstream of the Ganga it receives all the pollutants which accumulates in the river from States in the upstream" Mr. Rudra, a renowned river expert, also pointed out that coliform bacteria, mainly found in sewage, is a major cause for concern due to its large presence in the Ganga. He said making intensive use of sewage treatment plants was the most effective way to deal with the issue
"No proper mechanism" Sources in WBPCB revealed that most of the sewage treatment plants in Bengal were not being utilised properly as "no proper mechanism has been developed to bring sewage to the treatment plants. State Irrigation Minister Somen Mahapatra said that he was not aware of the map published by the CPCB Anil Gautam, faculty member the People's Science Institute in Dehradun, said that "with rainfall the pollution level in the Ganga seems to be a little lower due to increase in flow of water. Once the monsoon comes to an end the quantity of pollutants will be even higher." Former member of the National Ganga River Basin Authority Ravi Chopra argued that it was not only the Ganga, but almost all the rivers of the country were in a "terrible condition." He refuted the Centre's claim that considerable progress has been made in cleaning the rivers under the Namami Gange project.
Old GDP data only a draft' (GS-3) (Page-7) The government on Sunday clarified that the back-series GDP data purportedly released by it was just a draft using one of the several possible calculation methods, and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation would announce the results when it settled on a final method. * "It is clarified through this press note that the methodology for back-casting GDP series has not yet been finalised and various alternative methods are being explored," the Ministry said in a release."The methodology as also the series using the methodology will be worked out using the suggestions made by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics and other suggestions that emanate during the consultancy process. 95 This exercise will then be considered in the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics and subsequently by the National Statistical Commission. Following this, the Ministry will decide about releasing the official estimates on the back-series GDP data.
Half of farm households indebted: NABARD study (GS-2/3) (Page-11) Mapping farm debt Among other things, the NABARD survey measured incidence of indebtedness (IO, the proportion of Average amount of outstanding debt (AOD) for indebted agricultural households is 1,04,602 households reporting outstanding debt SRH SOverall extent of indebtedness taking all Outstanding debt for indebted non- agricultural households is 76,731 households combined is 91,407 -43.5% agricultural households reported to have borrowed any money from some source or the other -60.4% of agricultural households borrowed from institutional sources alone -30.3% borrowed from only informal sources and 9.2% of agricultural households borrowed from both sources . Incidence of Indebtedness as per the survey is 52.5% for agricultural households and 428% for non- agricultural households. All India IOI taking all rural households together is 474% 56.7% of non-agricultural households and 58.6% of all households borrowed from institutional sources SOURCE: NABARD, SURVEY REFERENCE YEAR:2015-16
State figures The southern States of Telangana (79%), Andhra Pradesh (77%), and Karnataka (74%) showed the highest levels of indebtedness among agricultural households, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (69%), Manipur (61%), Tamil Nadu (60%), Kerala (56%), and Odisha (54%). Looking at loans taken between July 2015 and June 2016, the survey found that farm households took less than half their loans from commercial banks. While 46% of the loans were taken from commercial banks, and another 10% from self-help groups, almost 40% were taken from non-institutional sources such as relatives, friends, moneylenders and landlords. While loans from relatives and friends may be free of interest and reflective of social integration in communities, the survey noted that "a sizeable 11.5% households exhibited dependence on local moneylenders and landlords, which exposes them to exploitation by having to pay exorbitant interest. The persons resorting to local moneylenders often include, either the illiterate or extremely poor ones which are not eligible for loans from formal institutions, or the households that do not have social networks that can help them in times of need."
The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India's next indigenous fighter, is expected to make its first flight by 2032. Development work on the jet is under way 2, "The AMCA will feature geometric stealth and will initially fly with two GE-414 engines. Once we develop our own engine, it can be replaced with that. We expect the first flight in 2032," a defence source said. "There are two major ways of making a military platform stealthier. One is geometric stealth and others material stealth. In geometric stealth, the shape of the aircraft is designed at such angles so as to deflect away maximum radar waves thereby minimising its radar cross section. In material stealth, radar-absorbing materials are used in making the aircraft which will absorb the radio waves thus reducing the radar footprint. The AMCA will initially be based on geometric stealth, we can look at material stealth at a later stage," the source said
The Indian Air Force has given land to the Defence Research and Development Organisation to set up facilities for the project. combat aircraft (LCA) and produce a medium fifth generation fighter aircraft. "Apart from the technologies developed from the LCA project, the new fighter programme is important as The plan is to build on the capabilities and expertise developed during the development of the light technologies coming in through that will flow into the AMCA project," another official source said. The aircraft will be powered by the same GE-414 engine on the LCA Mk-2 variant which is in the design phase A GE-414 produces 98kN thrust compared to 84kN thrust of the GE-404 engine which is on the LCA Mk1 At Aero India 2016, DRDO officials had stated that the basic design configuration has been frozen after stealth, thrust wind tunnel testing and there are three critical technologies that need to be developed vectoring and super cruise. MIS Is Ina ithgelefationalrcaltrolamime lollowing the dedsionott go anedd td te fifth generation project with Russl
"India will be back on 7.5%-plus growth track this fiscal' (GS-3) (Page-12) 2. India's economic growth seems to be back on a recovery path and the country will be on a firm 7.5%-plus growth track this fiscal, former Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Virmani said on Sunday. He further said the U.S.-China tariff war provides an opportunity to increase India's exports to the U.S. 'Growth recovering' "Economic growth, which has been subject to many ups and downs over the past seven years,seems to be back on a recovery path. "Domestically,the main risk to macro stability is Politically-driven government consumption spending at the cost of investment and fiscal prudence. If this temptation is resisted, the country will be back on a firm 7.5%-plus growth track this year (fiscal)," Mr.Virmani told PTl in an interview.He noted that the rise in oil prices due to geopolitical factors like sanctions on Iran by the U.S. is, however, a concern.
'Clean banking is new normal' (GS-3) (Page-12) The clean banking drive has started showing results with public sector banks (PSBs) increasingly adopting prudent business approach, replacing aggressive lending practices, said Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar "The NPA crisis brought an opportunity for the introduction of responsible and responsive banking.All the PSBs, which [collectively] have about 75% market share, decided last year to adopt EASE (Enhanced Access & Service Excellence), ushering in paradigm shift in their approach," he said. "Gradually, Indian banking system is moving towards new normal that is clean banking," he said. To deal with the twin balance sheet challenge, he said, the four Rs-Recognition, Recapitalisation, Resolution, and Reform- were put in place
PFRDA sets up panel on cyber safety (GS-3) (Page-13) C De) nsf * Pension Fund and Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA) has set up a standing committee to suggest steps to deal with cybersecurity challenges to protect the interest of subscribers. * "As a regulator of the pension sector and to safeguard the interest of pension subscribers, it is essential to keep an eye on the technological changes and cybersecurity challenges," the regulator said while announcing its decision to set up the panel. The committee on 'Information Systems and Technology and Cyber Security' will suggest steps to align PFRDA's technology with best industry practices. 93
Graduate in Economics. Gold medal in Dissertation, Prepared various documents on Demonetisation and GST, Share-trading and many more