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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] Important summits, conventions and Declarations (Part 2)

Prelims Spotlight is a part of “Nikaalo Prelims 2020” module. This open crash course for Prelims 2020 has a private telegram group where PDFs and DDS (Daily Doubt Sessions) are being held. Please click here to register.

Important Summits, Conventions and Declarations (Part 2)


11 May 2020

1.Convention on biological diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity has been in force since 1993.

Objectives-

  • It has 3 main objectives: The conservation of biological diversity.
  • The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity.,fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
  • The CBD, one of the key agreements adopted during the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, is the first comprehensive global agreement which addresses all aspects relating to biodiversity.

2.Asia Lpg summit 2019

The summit will offer a unique opportunity to the global LPG industry to interact with development agencies, NGOs and non-profit organizations who have facilitated last-mile access to LPG for the beneficiaries.

Objectives-

  • The summit will also bring together academia and private sector to exchange their views on the use of LPG and how pathbreaking initiatives such as ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ can bring remarkable socio-economic transformation.
  • The WLPGA promotes the use of LPG to foster a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous world.
  • With over 200 members and presence in more than 125 countries, the WLPGA represents the interests of private and public companies from the entire LPG value chain under one umbrella.
  • The WLPGA provides a platform for the exchange of best practices, facts and figures among its members.
  • The Association regularly organises interactive meetings between technical experts, members and key stakeholders to demonstrate the benefits of LPG.

3.Global Digital Health Partnership Summit

The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) is an international collaboration of governments, government agencies and multinational organisations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their citizens through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.

Objectives-

  • Governments are making significant investments to harness the power of technology and foster innovation and public-private partnerships that support high quality, sustainable health and care for all. The GDHP facilitates global collaboration and co-operation in the implementation of digital health services.The GDHP is committed to improving health and care through promoting its principles of equality, co-operation, transparency and responsibility.
  • Equality: All participants will have an equal opportunity to participate and contribute to the development of the GDHP deliverables and share in the lessons learnt and outputs of the GDHP.
  • Co-operation: Participants are helpful and supportive and participate in debates thoughtfully, constructively and respectfully.
  • Transparency: Participants act with openness in their engagement with fellow participants to contribute to improved health services, promote innovation and create safer and healthier communities.
  • Responsibility: Participants are responsible for their country’s input through their active contribution to GDHP activities that are guided by the annual work plan. Each participant shall endeavour to ensure that outcomes from meetings, such as tasks appointed to them or in general, are carried out effectively and efficiently. Participants will make decisions and participate in discussions in a transparent and fair manner, using evidence, and without discrimination or bias, ensuring they act in the public interest and not for commercial purposes.

4.TIR

The Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets is a multilateral treaty that was concluded at Geneva on 14 November 1975 to simplify and harmonise the administrative formalities of international road transport.

Objectives-

  • The TIR Convention establishes an international customs transit system with maximum facility to move goods:in sealed vehicles or containers;
  • from a customs office of departure in one country to a customs office of destination in another country;
  • without requiring extensive and time-consuming border checks at intermediate borders;
  • while, at the same time, providing customs authorities with the required security and guarantees.

5.International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

The workshop aims to i) identify good practices of disaster risk management in key infrastructure sectors, ii) identify specific areas and pathways for collaborative research on DRI (Transport, Energy, Telecom and Water), iii) discuss and co-create the broad contours of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) as well as a notional roll-out plan for the next three years, and iv) build a forum for members to work on areas of common interest and make specific commitments.Various international agreements have also reiterated the importance and long-term benefits of investing in resilient infrastructure.

Objectives-

  • The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030, which is the first major agreement of the post-2015 development agenda, identifies investing in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for resilience and to build back better in reconstruction as priorities for action towards reducing disaster risk.
  • Similarly, Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognizes disaster resilient infrastructure as a crucial driver of economic growth and development.
  • Besides reducing infrastructure losses, disaster resilient infrastructure will also help achieve targets pertaining to reduction in mortality, number of affected people and economic losses due to disasters.

6.International Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control treaty that outlaws the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and their precursors.

Key points of the Convention

Objectives-

  • Prohibition of production and use of chemical weapons
  • Destruction (or monitored conversion to other functions) of chemical weapons production facilities
  • Destruction of all chemical weapons (including chemical weapons abandoned outside the state parties territory)
  • Assistance between State Parties and the OPCW in the case of use of chemical weapons
  • An OPCW inspection regime for the production of chemicals which might be converted to chemical weapons
  • International cooperation in the peaceful use of chemistry in relevant areas

7.Convention on Supplementary Compensation for nuclear Damage (CSC)

The Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage is a 1963 treaty that governs issues of liability in cases of a nuclear accident. It was concluded at Vienna on 21 May 1963 and entered into force on 12 November 1977. The convention has been amended by a 1997 protocol. The depository is the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Objectives-

  • The Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) aims at establishing a minimum national compensation amount and at further increasing the amount of compensation through public funds to be made available by the Contracting Parties should the national amount be insufficient to compensate the damage caused by a nuclear incident.
  • The Convention is open not only to States that are party to either the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage or the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (including any amendments to either) but also to other States provided that their national legislation is consistent with uniform rules on civil liability laid down in the Annex to the Convention.

8.Hague Code of Conduct

The International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, also known as the Hague Code of Conduct (HCOC), was established on 25 November 2002 as an arrangement to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles.

Objectives-

  • The HCOC is the result of international efforts to regulate access to ballistic missiles which can potentially deliver weapons of mass destruction. The HCOC is the only multilateral code in the area of disarmament which has been adopted over the last years.
  • It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles.
  • The HCOC does not ban ballistic missiles, but it does call for restraint in their production, testing, and export.

9.Refugee Convention

The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. In the general principle of international law, treaties in force are binding upon the parties to it and must be performed in good faith. Countries that have ratified the Refugee Convention are obliged to protect refugees that are on their territory, in accordance with its terms. There are a number of provisions that States parties to the Refugee Convention must adhere to.

10.Biological weapons convention

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning the production of an entire category of weapons.

Objectives-

  • Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain:
  • Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes;
  • Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict.”
  • The United States Congress passed the Bioweapons Anti-Terrorism Act in 1989 to implement the Convention. The law applies the Convention’s convent to countries and private citizens, and criminalizes violations of the Convention.

11.Sendai Framework

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) is an international document which was adopted by UN member states between 14th and 18th of March 2015 at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in June 2015. It is the successor agreement to the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015), which had been the most encompassing international accord to date on disaster risk reduction.

Objectives-

  • The Sendai Framework sets four specific priorities for action:
  • Understanding disaster risk;
  • Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk;
  • Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience;
  • Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response, and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

12.Outer Space Treaty

The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies, and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space.

13.Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty which extends the 1992 UNFCCC that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, based on the premise that

(a) global warming exists and (b) human-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

Objectives-

  • The main feature of the Protocol is that it established legally binding commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases for parties that ratified the Protocol.
  • The commitments were based on the Berlin Mandate, which was a part of UNFCCC negotiations leading up to the Protocol.
  • Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change.

14.U.N. Frame Work Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Objectives-

  • A framework for international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were inevitable.
  • The primary goals of the UNFCCC were to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at levels that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the global climate.
  • The convention embraced the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities which has guided the adoption of a regulatory structure.

15.Basel Convention

  • The industrialized world in the 1980s had led to increasing public resistance to the disposal of hazardous wastes, in accordance with what became known as the NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) syndrome, and to an increase of disposal costs.
  • This, in turn, led some operators to seek cheap disposal options for hazardous wastes in the developing countries.
  • Environmental awareness was much less developed and regulations and enforcement mechanisms were lacking. The objectives of the convention are to reduce trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes, to minimize the creation of such wastes and to prohibit their shipment from developed countries to the LDCs.

16.Montreal Protocol

Objectives-

  • The protocol set targets for reducing the consumption and production of a range of ozone-depleting substances.
  • In a major innovation, the protocol recognized that all nations should not be treated equally.
  • The agreement acknowledges that certain countries have contributed to ozone depletion more than others.
  • It also recognizes that a nation‘s obligation to reduce current emissions should reflect its technological and financial ability to do so.
  • Because of this, the agreement sets more stringent standards and accelerated phase-out time tables to countries that have contributed most to ozone depletion

17.World Conservation Strategy

Objectives-

  • It set out fundamental principles and objectives for conservation worldwide and identified priorities for national and international action.
  • It is considered one of the most influential documents in 20th-century nature conservation and one of the first official documents to introduce the concept of sustainable development.

18.Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention)

Objectives-

  • Aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range.
  • The Convention facilitates the adoption of strict protection measures for endangered migratory species, the conclusion of multilateral agreements for the conservation and management of migratory species, and co-operative research activities.

19.World Sustainable Development summit

  • WSDS has replaced TERI’s earlier called Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS). The first DSDS was organised in 2005. It underscored the need for businesses and the private sector to take lead in poverty reduction and to ensure rapid and sustained adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • It had brought together Nobel laureates, decision-makers political leaders from around the world to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development.
  • The aim of the summit is to provide various stakeholders with a single platform in order to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community.

20.Kigali Agreement

The Kigali Amendment amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol to now include gases responsible for global warming and will be binding on countries from 2019.

Objectives-

  • It also has provisions for penalties for non-compliance.
  • It is considered absolutely vital for reaching the Paris Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise to below 2-degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.
  • Under it, developed countries will also provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally. The exact amount of additional funding from developed countries will be agreed at the next
  • Meeting of the Parties in Montreal in 2017 to reduce the emissions of category of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which leads to hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs)
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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

10 May 2020 | Nikaalo Prelims Quiz -CA April 2020

Please make a note of the following

1. Some questions are purposely out of syllabus. Please think hard, try to recall and attempt them. This surprise is nothing compared to what you will experience in the actual exam.

2. While you are attempting the test, keep writing the questions numbers in the comment section in the following format.

100% sure – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions are you are 100% sure of but eventually got wrong

Could eliminate 2 options – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate the questions where you took calculated risks

Complete guess– <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions you guessed completely. 

A sample would be

100% sure-1,2,3

Could eliminate 2 options-4,5

Complete guess-6,7

This will make you more aware of what your attempt. It is very important.

3. Completing the test should be your top priority. Focus on accuracy rather than simply attempting more questions. Give enough thought to each question, we have increased the time limit so you can do this.

4. At the end of the test, click on ‘View Questions’ button to check the solutions.

*You can attempt the test multiple times for your own practice but only your first attempt will be counted for rankings.

Categories
Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] Important Summits, Conventions and Declarations (Part 1)

Prelims Spotlight is a part of “Nikaalo Prelims 2020” module. This open crash course for Prelims 2020 has a private telegram group where PDFs and DDS (Daily Doubt Sessions) are being held. Please click here to register.

Important Summits, Conventions and Declarations (Part 1)


09 May 2020

1.RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands

Brief Intro

  • The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975 after UNESCO, the Convention’s depositary received the instruments of accession from the countries.
  • The RAMSAR Secretariat is based at the headquarters of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Gland, Switzerland.
  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2nd.

Key Objectives-

  • An intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

Year-1971

Place – Ramasar

Key Terms-The Montreux Record – a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character are of concern. It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.

India specific – India currently has 27 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).

2.The World Heritage Convention

Brief Intro

The Convention recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.

Key Objectives-

The Convention defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List under UNESCO

Year-1972

3.Stockholm Conference

Brief Intro

Stockholm Declaration contains 26 principles. These principles provide the basis of an International Policy for the Protection and improvement of the environment.

Key Point-The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been established by the UNGA in pursuance of the Stockholm Conference.

Year-1972

4.CITES

Brief Intro

To ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 35,000 species of animals and plants.

Key Objectives-

  • It is a multilateral treaty drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws.

India Specific –

The Government of India signed the Convention in July 1976, which was ratified in October 1976

5.Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC)

Brief Intro

Seeks to establish a uniform global legal regime for compensation to victims in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident. It was adopted on 12 September 1997. It can enter into force after ratification by at least 5 countries having a minimum of 400,000 units of installed nuclear capacity.

Key Objectives-

  • It provides a uniform framework for channelling liability and providing speedy compensation after the nuclear accident.
  • Seeks to encourage regional and global co-operation to promote a higher level of nuclear safety in accordance with the principles of international partnership and solidarity.
  • All states are free to participate in it regardless of their presence of nuclear installations on their territories or involvement in existing nuclear liability conventions.
  • It has been framed inconsistent with the principles of the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (1963) and the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy (1960).

India Specific –

India has ratified Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), 1997 which sets parameters on a nuclear operator’s financial liability.

6.Nuclear security summit

Brief Intro

The Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) is a world summit, aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe. The first summit was held in Washington, D.C., United States, on April 12–13, 2010. The second summit was held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2012. The third summit was held in The Hague, Netherlands, on March 24–25, 2014. The fourth summit was held in Washington, D.C. on March 31–April 1, 2016.

Key Objectives-

Aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism around the globe.

India specific-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the NSS 2016 in Washington

7.Ashgabat Agreement

Brief Intro

Ashgabat Agreement is an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

Key Objectives-

  • The transit agreement provides for a transit corridor across Central Asia and the Middle East through the continuous landmass between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran before reaching the Persian Gulf and into Oman.
  • The objective of this agreement is to enhance connectivity within Eurasian region and synchronize it with other transport corridors within that region including the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

8.The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA)

Brief Intro

The Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

Key Objectives-

It is a forum based on the recognition that there is close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and in the rest of the world.enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

India Specific-

India is a member of CICA

9.Beijing declaration

Brief Intro

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) is an international declaration of women’s rights set up at the UN’s landmark Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995.

Key Objectives-

  • The BPfA covers 12 key critical matters of concern and areas for action including women and poverty, violence against women and access to power and decision- making.
  • It was supported by 189 countries, including the UK, at the 1995 World Conference.gender equality and the empowerment of all women, everywhere.1995.
  • It was the outcome of The Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace convened by UN.

12.The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)

Brief Intro

The World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is a treaty adopted by the 56th World Health Assembly held in Geneva,Switzerland on 21 May 2003.

Key Objectives-

  • It became the first World Health Organization treaty adopted under article 19 of the WHO constitution.To protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke” by enacting a set of universal standards stating the dangers of tobacco and limiting its use in all forms worldwide.
  • The FCTC established two principal bodies to oversee the functioning of the treaty: the Conference of the parties and the permanent Secretariat. In addition, there are over 50 different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations who are official observers to the Conference of the Parties.

India Specific-

India has hosted 7th Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

10.G-7

Brief Intro

  • The Group of Seven (G7) is an informal bloc of industrialized democracies—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—that meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security, and energy policy.
  • Russia belonged to the forum from 1998 through 2014—then the Group of Eight (G8)—but was suspended after its annexation of Crimea in March of that year.

11.G-20

Brief Intro– It was started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Southeast Asian (Tiger economies) financial crisis.

Key Objectives-

  • The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making.
  • It is deliberating forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies on economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Washington DC, US. The group had played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis. It comprises total 19 countries plus the European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population. Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU. 4.The 2016 summit was held in Hangzhou China.
  • It was established for studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.

India Specific-

India is a founding member of G-20

12.International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Brief Intro

It is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, which aims at guaranteeing food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), as well as the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use.

Key Objectives-

  • It also recognises Farmers’ Rights, subject to national laws the protection of traditional knowledge relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
  • The right to equitably participate in sharing benefits arising from the utilisation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture;
  • The right to participate in making decisions, at the national level, on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
  • It is a comprehensive international agreement in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

India Specific-

India has signed the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

13.Marrakesh treaty

Brief Intro

  • The treaty requires signatories to introduce national law provisions that facilitate the availability of published works in formats like Braille that are accessible to the blind and allow their exchange across borders by organizations working for the visually impaired.

Key Objectives-

  • The pact will help import of accessible format copies from the member countries by the Indian authorized entities such as educational institutions, libraries and other institutions working for the welfare of the visually impaired.
  • The treaty will also ease translation of imported accessible format copies and export of accessible format copies in Indian languages.To create a set of mandatory limitations and exceptions for the benefit of the blind, visually impaired and otherwise print disabled (VIPs).

14.London Declaration

Brief Intro

  • The London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases is a collaborative disease eradication programme launched on 30 January 2012 in London.
  • It was inspired by the World Health Organization 2020 roadmap to eradicate or negate transmission for neglected tropical diseases.
  • Officials from WHO, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s 13 leading pharmaceutical companies, and government representatives from US, UK, United Arab Emirate, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mozambique and Tanzania participated in a joint meeting at the Royal College of Physicians to launch this project.

15.Declaration of Montreal

Brief Intro

The Declaration of Montreal on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Human Rights is a document adopted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 29, 2006, by the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights which formed part of the first World Outgames.

Key Objectives-

  • The Declaration outlines a number of rights and freedoms pertaining to LGBT and intersex people that it is proposed to be universally guaranteed.
  • It encompasses all aspects of human rights, from the guarantee of fundamental freedoms to the prevention of discrimination against LGBT people in healthcare, education and immigration.
  • The Declaration also addresses various issues that impinge on the global promotion of LGBT rights and intersex human rights.

16. Istanbul Convention

Brief Intro

  • The Istanbul Convention is the first legally-binding instrument which “creates a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women” and is focussed on preventing domestic violence, protecting victims and prosecuting accused offenders. The convention aims at prevention of violence, victim protection and “to end with the impunity of perpetrators.
  • The Council of Europe. Only European countries have signed this convention.

17.vienna convention on diplomatic relations

Brief Intro

It is a treaty that came into force in 1964 2.It lays out the rules and regulations for diplomatic relations between countries as well as the various privileges that diplomats and diplomatic missions enjoy.

Key Objectives-

  • One of these privileges is legal immunity for diplomats so that they don’t have to face prosecution as per their host country’s laws.
  • The Vienna Convention classifies diplomats according to their posting in the embassy, consular or international organisations such as the UN. A nation has only one embassy per foreign country, usually in the capital, but may have multiple consulate offices, generally in locations where many of its citizens live or visit.
  • Diplomats posted in an embassy get immunity, along with his or her family members. While diplomats posted in consulates too get immunity, they can be prosecuted in case of serious crimes, that is, when a warrant is issued.
  • Besides, their families don’t share that immunity.It has been ratified by 187 countries, including India.

18.Jaipur Summit

Brief Intro

  • The Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) was launched during Hon’ble Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s visit to Fiji in November 2014.
  • FIPIC includes 14 of the island countries – Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
  • The second summit of the Forum for India Pacific Cooperation (FIPIC-2) in Jaipur on 21-22 August 2015 has made significant progress in strengthening India’s engagement with the 14 Pacific Island countries. Increase Cooperation Between India and 14 Pacific Countries.

Key Objectives-

  • Though these countries are relatively small in land area and distant from India, many have large exclusive economic zones (EEZs), and offer promising possibilities for fruitful cooperation.
  • India’s focus has largely been on the Indian Ocean where it has sought to play a major role and protect its strategic and commercial interests. The FIPIC initiative marks a serious effort to expand India’s engagement in the Pacific region.
  • At this moment, total annual trade of about $300 million between the Indian and Pacific Island countries, where as exports are around $200 million and imports are around $100 million.

19.NPT

Brief Intro

The NPT is a landmark international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

Key Objectives-

  • The Treaty represents the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon States. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970.
  • To prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament.

India Specific-

India has not signed the treaty as India argues that the NPT creates a club of “nuclear haves” and a larger group of “nuclear have-nots” by restricting the legal possession of nuclear weapons to those states that tested them before 1967, but the treaty never explains on what ethical grounds such a distinction is valid.

20.CTBT

Brief Intro

  • The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear explosions, for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments.
  • It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 September 1996 but has not entered into force as eight specific states have not ratified the treaty. Nuclear weapon-free
  • The treaty thus awaits signature and ratification from India, Pakistan, and North Korea and in addition requires the United States, China, Israel, Iran and Egypt (which have already signed) to formally ratify it.

India Specific-

Even though it is yet to sign the CTBT, India has supported the treaty’s basic principle of banning nuclear explosions by declaring a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. India’s expressed support to the essential requirement of the treaty makes it a de facto member of the CTBT.

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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

08 May 2020 | Nikaalo Prelims Quiz -Important International Organizations Test

Please make a note of the following

1. Some questions are purposely out of syllabus. Please think hard, try to recall and attempt them. This surprise is nothing compared to what you will experience in the actual exam.

2. While you are attempting the test, keep writing the questions numbers in the comment section in the following format.

100% sure – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions are you are 100% sure of but eventually got wrong

Could eliminate 2 options – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate the questions where you took calculated risks

Complete guess– <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions you guessed completely. 

A sample would be

100% sure-1,2,3

Could eliminate 2 options-4,5

Complete guess-6,7

This will make you more aware of what your attempt. It is very important.

3. Completing the test should be your top priority. Focus on accuracy rather than simply attempting more questions. Give enough thought to each question, we have increased the time limit so you can do this.

4. At the end of the test, click on ‘View Questions’ button to check the solutions.

*You can attempt the test multiple times for your own practice but only your first attempt will be counted for rankings.

Categories
Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] The Northern and Northeastern Mountains with Important Passes

Prelims Spotlight is a part of “Nikaalo Prelims 2020” module. This open crash course for Prelims 2020 has a private telegram group where PDFs and DDS (Daily Doubt Sessions) are being held. Please click here to register.

The Northern and Northeastern Mountains with Important Passes


08 May 2020

Let’s begin with the first physiographic division. It consists of:

  • The Himalayas, and
  • The Northeastern hills (Purvanchal).
The Physiographic Divisions of India | The Northern and Northeastern Mountains

A) The Himalayas:

The name “Himalaya” means “the abode or house of snow” in Sanskrit (i.e. hima “snow”, and ālaya “abode or house”). The Himalayas are the highest and longest of all young fold mountains of the world. The Pamir, known as the roof of the world, connects the Himalayas with the high ranges of Central Asia.

Let’s begin by understanding how the Himalayas came into being:

Origin and development:

According to the theory of Continental Drift, the world was made up of a single continent through most of the geologic time. That continent eventually separated and drifted apart; forming the seven continents we have today.

continental-drift
Source

About 200 million years ago: Pangaea broke apart leading to the formation of two landmasses – “Laurasia in North” and “Gondwanaland in South”. Both the landmasses were separated by a shallow sea called “Tethys Sea”. The size of Tethys sea kept on decreasing due to movement of landmasses towards each other

About 40 to 50 million years ago: The two large landmasses, India and Eurasia, driven by plate movement, collided. As a result, the sediments accumulated in Tethys Sea (brought by rivers) were compressed, squeezed and series of folds were formed, one behind the other, giving birth to folded mountains of the Himalayas.

India moving copy-2
Source

Recent studies show that India is still moving northwards at the rate of 5cm/year and crashing into the rest of Asia, thereby constantly increasing the height of Himalayas.

Evidence to prove that the Himalayas are still rising:

1. Fossil formation found in Shivalik hills:

Similar fossils have also been found in the Tibet Plateau. This indicates that in the past, Tibetan plateau and Shivalik hills shared a common location, similar level and thus similar vegetation, life etc.; then Tibetan plateau got uplifted.

2. Desiccation of lakes of Tibet:

In the Tibet plateau, we find deposits which are generally found in lakes. This indicates that lakes once existed in Tibet but because of upliftment the water got discharged and deposits remained.

3. Frequent Earthquakes

4. Youthful nature of rivers (High erosion, v-shaped valleys etc.)

The North-South Division of the Himalayas

The Himalayas consist of a series of parallel mountain ranges:

  1. The Greater Himalayan range, which includes:
    • The Great Himalayas(Himadri), and
    • The Trans-Himalayan range
  2. The Lesser Himalayas (or Himachal), and
  3. The Outer Himalayas (or Shiwalik).
The Himalayan Ranges and Important Peaks
  • Formation of these ranges: The Himadri and Himachal ranges of the Himalayas have been formed much before the formation of Siwalik range. The rivers rising in the Himadri and Himachal ranges brought gravel, sand and mud along with them, which was deposited in the rapidly shrinking Tethys Sea. In course of time, the earth movements caused folding of these relatively fresh deposits of sediments, giving rise to the least consolidated Shiwalik range.
  • Characteristic Features:
    • Notice in the map shown above that the Himalayas form an arcuate curve which is convex to the southThis curved shape of the Himalayas is attributed to the maximum push offered at the two ends on the Indian peninsula during its northward drift. In the north-west, it was done by Aravalis and in the Northeast by the Assam ranges.
    • Syntaxis/ Syntaxial bends: The gently arching ranges of the Himalayan mountains on their Western and Eastern extremities are sharply bent southward in deep Knee-bend flexures that are called syntaxial bends. On both the ends, the great mountains appear to bend around a pivotal point. The western point is situated south of the Pamir where the Karakoram meets the Hindu Kush. A similar sharp, almost hairpin bend occurs on the eastern limit of Arunachal Pradesh where the strike of the mountain changes sharply from the Easterly to Southerly trend. Besides these two major bends, there are a number of minor syntaxial bends in other parts of Himalayas.

      Syntaxial Bends of Himalayas

    • The Himalayas are wider in the west than in the east. The width varies from 400 km in Kashmir to 150 km in Arunachal Pradesh.The main reason behind this difference is that the compressive force was more in the east than in the west. That is why high mountain peaks like Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga are present in the Eastern Himalayas.
    • The ranges are separated by deep valleys creating a highly dissected topography.
    • The southern slopes of the Himalayas facing India are steeper and those facing the Tibetan side are generally gentler.
  • Let’s take up these Himalayan mountain ranges one by one:

    The Himalayan Ranges | the Greater Himalayan Range, the Lesser Himalayas, the Shivaliks

    Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone: It represents a belt of tectonic compression caused by the underthrusting of the Indian shield/ plate against the Tibetan mass. It marks the boundary between Indian and Eurasian plates. The suture zone stretches from the North Western Himalayan syntaxis bordering the Nanga Parbat to the East as far as the Namche Barwa Mountain. Tha Karakoram range and the Ladakh plateau lie to the north of ITSZ and originally formed a part of the European plate.Main Central Thrust Zone: This separates the Higher Himalayas in the north from lesser Himalayas in the south. It has played an important role in the tectonic history of these mountains.Main Boundary Thrust: It is a reverse fault of great dimensions which extends all the way from Assam to Punjab and serves to separate the outer Himalayas from the lesser Himalayas.Himalayan Frontal Fault: It is a series of reverse faults that demarcates the boundary of the Shivalik from of the Himalayan province from the alluvial expanse of the Indo-Gangetic plains.

Major Faults of the Himalayas – ITSZ, MCT, MBT, HFF
The Himalayan Complex: A Cross-sectional View

Besides the longitudinal divisions, the Himalayas have been divided on the basis of regions from west to east:

These divisions have been demarcated by river valleys:

The Regional Divisions of Himalayas – the Western and Eastern Himalayas.
  1. Punjab Himalayas:
    • A large portion of Punjab Himalayas is in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Hence they are also called the Kashmir and Himachal Himalaya.
    • Major ranges: Karakoram, Ladakh, Pir Panjal, Zaskar and Dhaola Dhar.
    • The general elevation falls westwards.
    • The Kashmir Himalayas are also famous for Karewa formations.
      • ‘Karewas’ in Kashmiri language refer to the lake deposits, found in the flat-topped terraces of the Kashmir valley and on the flanks of the Pir Panjal range.
      • These deposits consist of clays, silts and sands, these deposits also show evidence of glaciation.
      • The occurrence of tilted beds of Karewas at the altitudes of 1500-1800m on the flanks of the Pir Panjal strongly suggests that the Himalayas were in process of uplift as late as Pliocene and Pleistocene (1.8mya to 10kyears ago)
      • Karewas are famous for the cultivation of Zafran, a local variety of saffron.
  2. Kumaon Himalayas
  3. Nepal Himalayas:
    • Tallest section of Himalayas
  4. Sikkim Himalayas:
    • Teesta river originates near Kanchenjunga
    • Jelep la pass- tri-junction of India- China-Bhutan
  5. Assam Himalayas:
    • Himalayas are narrower in this region and Lesser Himalayas lie close to Great Himalayas.
    • Peaks: Namcha Barwa, Kula Kangri
    • Bengal ‘Duars’
    • Diphu pass- tri-junction of India- China-Myanmar
    • The Assam Himalayas show a marked dominance of fluvial erosion due to heavy rainfall.
The West-East Division of Himalayas

Glaciers and Snowline:

Snowline: The lower limit of perpetual snow is called the ‘snowline’. The snowline in the Himalayas has different heights in different parts, depending on latitude, altitude, amount of precipitation, moisture, slope and local topography.

1. The snowline in the Western Himalaya is at a lower altitude than in the Eastern Himalaya. E.g. while the glaciers of the Kanchenjunga in the Sikkim portion hardly move below 4000m, and those of Kumaon and Lahul to 3600m, the glaciers of the Kashmir Himalayas may descend to 2500m above the sea level.

  • It is because of the increase in latitude from 28°N in Kanchenjunga to 36°N in the Karakoram (Lower latitude —> warmer temperatures —> higher snowline).
  • Also, the Eastern Himalayas rise abruptly from the planes without the intervention of High ranges.
  • Though the total precipitation is much less in the western Himalayas, it all takes place in the form of snow.

2. In the Great Himalayan ranges, the snowline is at a lower elevation on the southern slopes than on the northern slopes. This is because the southern slopes are steeper and receive more precipitation as compared to the northern slopes.

Glaciers: The main glaciers are found in the Great Himalayas and the Trans-Himalayan ranges (Karakoram, Ladakh and Zaskar). The Lesser Himalayas have small glaciers, though traces of large glaciers are found in the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. Some of the important glaciers are:

Important Glaciers and their Locations

Key differences between the Eastern and Western Himalayas:

Key Difference between the Western and Eastern Himalayas.

Important Passes in India:

A pass is a narrow gap in a mountain range which provides a passageway through the barrier.

Important Passes in India
  1. Pir Panjal Pass – It provides the shortest and the easiest metal road between Jammu and the Kashmir Valley. But this route had to be closed down as a result of partition of the subcontinent.
  2. Banihal Pass – It is in Jammu and Kashmir. The road from Jammu to Srinagar transversed Banihal Pass until 1956 when Jawahar Tunnel was constructed under the pass. The road now passes through the tunnel and the Banihal Pass is no longer used for road transport.
  3. Zoji La (Pass) – It is in the Zaskar range of Jammu and Kashmir. The land route from Srinagar to Leh goes through this pass.
  4. Shipki La (Pass) – It is in Himachal Pradesh. The road from Shimla to Tibet goes through this pass. The Satluj river flows through this pass.
  5. Bara Lacha Pass – It is also in Himachal Pradesh. It links Mandi and Leh by road.
  6. Rohtang Pass – It is also in Himachal Pradesh. It cuts through the Pir Panjal range. It links Manali and Leh by road.
  7. Niti Pass – It is in Uttarakhand. The road to the Kailash and the Manasarovar passes through it.
  8. Nathu La (Pass) – It is in Sikkim. It gives way to Tibet from Darjeeling and Chumbi valley. The Chumbi river flows through this pass.
  9. Jalep La (Pass) – At the tri-junction of India- China-Bhutan. The Teesta river has created this pass.

B) The North-Eastern Hills and Mountains

The North-Eastern Hills (Purvanchal): Patkai Bum, Naga Hills, Mizo Hills

The Brahmaputra marks the eastern border of Himalayas. Beyond the Dihang gorge, the Himalayas bend sharply towards south and form the Eastern hills or Purvanchal.

  • These hills run through the northeastern states of India.
  • These hills differ in scale and relief but stem from the Himalayan orogeny.
  • They are mostly composed of sandstones (i.e. Sedimentary rocks).
  • These hills are covered with dense forests.
  • Their elevation decreases from north to south. Although comparatively low, these hill ranges are rather forbidding because of the rough terrain, dense forests and swift streams.
  • Purvanchal hills are convex to the west.
  • These hills are composed of:
    • Patkai Bum – Border between Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar
    • Naga Hills
    • Manipuri Hills – Border between Manipur and Myanmar
    • Mizo Hills.
  • Patkai Bum and Naga Hills form the watershed between India and Myanmar.
  • Extension of Purvanchal continues in Myanmar as Arakan Yoma –then Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Arakan Yoma – An Extension of Purvanchal in Myanmar
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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] Important Schemes regarding Agriculture & Allied Sectors

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Important Schemes regarding Agriculture & Allied Sectors


06 May 2020

1.1 Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

Objective

● To achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level.
● To enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
● To explore the feasibility of reusing treated municipal wastewater for peri-urban agriculture.
● To attract greater private investments in irrigation.
● To promote extension activities relating to water harvesting, water management and crop alignment for farmers and grass root level field
functionaries.

Salient features

● Decentralized State level planning and projectized execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP). These plans need to be prepared in order to access
the PMKSY fund.
● It will be supervised and monitored by the Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under PM with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries. A National Executive Committee (NEC) is to be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation.
● PMKSY has been formulated amalgamation ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP); Integrated
Watershed Management Programme (IWMP); and On-Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable
Agriculture (NMSA).
● Water budgeting is done for all sectors namely, household, agriculture and industries.
● Investments will happen at farm level. So, farmers know what is happening and can provide valuable feedback.
● Recently, the Long Term Irrigation Fund has been instituted under PMKSY in NABARD for funding and fast-tracking the implementation
of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects.

1.2 RASHTRIYA KRISHI VIKAS YOJANA – RAFTAAR (RKVY-RAFTAAR)

Objective

● To make farming a remunerative economic activity through strengthening the farmer’s efforts, risk mitigation and promoting
agribusiness entrepreneurship.
● To attend national priorities through several sub-schemes.
● To empower youth through skill development, innovation and agri entrepreneurship based business models.

Salient features 

● RKVY, initiated in 2007 as an umbrella scheme for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors, has been recently revamped as
RKVY-RAFTAAR – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation for 2017-19 and 2019-20.
● It provided states with considerable flexibility and autonomy for planning and executing Programs.
● The decentralised planning for agriculture and allied sectors is initiated by the states through District Agriculture Plan and State Agriculture
Plan based on agro-climatic conditions, availability of appropriate technology and natural priorities.
● It will incentivize states to increase allocations for agriculture and allied sectors and help in creation of post-harvest infrastructure and
promotion of private investment in the farm sector across the country.
● Fund Allocation – 60:40 grants between Centre
and States in states and 90:10 for North Eastern States and Himalayan States through following streams – o Infrastructure & Assets and Production Growth o RKVY-RAFTAAR special sub-schemes of National Priorities o Innovation
and agri-entrepreneur development.

Sub-schemes include

● Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India
● Crop Diversification Program – It is being implemented in the Original Green Revolution States of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh to diversify area from water-guzzling crop
● Reclamation of Problem Soil ● Foot & Mouth Disease – Control Program
(FMD-CP)
● Saffron Mission
● Accelerated Fodder Development Programme (AFDP)

1.3 NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MISSION

Objective

Increasing production of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals and commercial crops through area expansion and productivity enhancement
in a sustainable manner.
● Restore soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level.
● Enhancing farm level economy.

Salient features

● It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which was launched in 2007.
● The approach of the scheme is to bridge the yield gap in respect of these crops through dissemination of improved technologies and farm management practices while focusing on districts which have high potential but relatively low level of productivity at present.
● Major Components – National Food Security Mission – Rice, National Food Security Mission – Wheat, National Food Security Mission – Pulses,
National Food Security Mission – Coarse Cereals and National Food Security Mission –Commercial Crops.

1.4 National Horticulture Mission

1. To provide holistic growth of the horticulture sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategies, to enhance horticulture production, improve nutritional security and income support to farm households
2. To establish convergence and synergy among multiple ongoing and planned programmes for horticulture development
3. To promote, develop and disseminate technologies, through a seamless blend of traditional wisdom and modern scientific knowledge
4. To create opportunities for employment generation for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youth.

Scheme:

A National Horticulture Mission was launched in 2005-06 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector
through an area based regionally differentiated strategies. The scheme has been subsumed as a part of Mission for Integration Development of
Horticulture (MIDH) during 2014-15.

What is the National Horticulture Mission?

The National Horticulture Mission is a government mission to support horticultural production in the country. NHM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in which the Government of India contributes 85%, and 15% is met by the State Governments.

Factual Information:

● India ranks second in the global production of fruits and vegetables next to China.
● Started in 2005-06.

1.5 SOIL HEALTH CARD SCHEME

Objective

● To issue soil health cards every 3 years, to all farmers of the country, so as to provide a basis to address nutrient deficiencies in fertilization practices.
● To strengthen the functioning of Soil Testing Laboratories (STLs) through capacity building, the involvement of agriculture students and
effective linkage with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) / State Agricultural Universities (SAUs).
● To diagnose soil fertility related constraints with standardized procedures for sampling uniformly across states.
● To build capacities of district and state level staff and of progressive farmers for promotion of nutrient management practices.

Salient features

● It is a centrally sponsored scheme launched by the Government of India in 2015.
● It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.
● Assistance is provided to the State Government to issue Soil Health Card and also develop a database to improve service delivery.
● Soil Health Card issued to farmers carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for the individual farms.
● The experts will analyze the strength and weaknesses (micronutrients deficiency) of the soil collected from farms and suggest measures
to deal with it.
● It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macronutrients); S (Secondary nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters).

1.6 PM FASAL BIMA YOJANA

Objective

● To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
● To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure
their continuance in farming. ● To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and
modern agricultural practices.
● To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.
Intended beneficiary.
● All farmers including sharecroppers and tenant farmers growing notified crops in a notified area during the season who have insurable interest in the crop are eligible.

Salient features

● It replaced all other existing insurance schemes except the Restructured Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (uses weather parameters as
proxy for crop yield in compensating the cultivators for deemed crop loses) .
● A uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
● In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
● There is no upper limit on Government subsidy so farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
● The difference between the premium paid by farmers and the actuarial premium charged was paid by the Centre and state government in
the ratio of 50:50.
● It is compulsory for loanee farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas and voluntary for non-loanee farmers.
● Yield Losses: due to non-preventable risks, such as Natural Fire and Lightning, Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado.
Risks due to Flood, Inundation and Landslide, Drought, Dry spells, Pests/ Diseases also will be covered.
● Post-harvest losses are also covered.
● Mandatory use of technology: Smart phones, drones etc., will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting
experiments.
● The Scheme shall be implemented on an ‘Area Approach basis’. Defined Area (i.e., unit area of insurance) is Village or above. It can be a
Geo-Fenced/Geo-mapped region having homogenous Risk Profile for the notified crop.
● Presently, 5 public sector insurers (Agriculture
Insurance Company of India, United India Insurance Company etc.) and 13 private insurance companies are empanelled for implementation of the scheme.
● Recently, states have been allowed to set up their own insurance companies for implementing the scheme.

1.7 National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management and
synergizing resource conservation.

Objectives

● To make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific Integrated/Composite Farming Systems
● To conserve natural resources through appropriate soil and moisture conservation measures
● To adopt comprehensive soil health management practices based on soil fertility maps, soil test based application of macro & micro nutrients, judicious use of fertilizers etc.
● To optimize utilization of water resources through efficient water management to expand coverage for achieving ‘more crop per drop’.
● To develop capacity of farmers & stakeholders, in conjunction with other on going missions e.g. National Mission on Agriculture Extension &
Technology, National Food Security Mission, National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) etc., in the domain of
climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
● To pilot models in select blocks for improving  productivity of rainfed farming by mainstreaming rainfed technologies refined through NICRA and by leveraging resources  from other schemes/Missions like Mahatma
Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), RKVY etc.;
and
● To establish an effective inter and intra Departmental/Ministerial coordination for accomplishing key deliverables of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under the aegis of National Action Plan on Climate
Change (NAPCC).

1.8 PARAMPARAGAT KRISHI VIKAS YOJANA

Objective

● Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
● pesticide residue free produce and improved health of consumer
● Raise farmer’s income and create potential markets for traders.
● Motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production.
● Increase domestic production and certification of organic produce by involving farmers.

Intended beneficiary
● Farmers doing organic farming
● Farmers from NE India such as Sikkim
● Food processing industries
● Organic foods – export industry

Salient features
● “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) under National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
● Cluster Approach: Fifty or more farmers form a cluster having 50 acre land to take organic farming. Each farmer will be provided Rs. 20000
per acre in three years for seed to harvesting crops and to transport them to market.
● Government plans to form around 10 thousand clusters in three years and cover an area of 5 Lakh hectares under organic farming.

Components
● Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification through cluster approach – mobilization of farmers, form clusters, identification of land resources and training on organic farming and PGS Certification and
quality control.
● Adoption of organic village for manure management and biological nitrogen harvesting through cluster approach –action plan for Organic Farming, Integrated Manure Management, Packing, Labelling and Branding
of organic products of cluster.

1.9 NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL MARKET
(NAM)

Objective

● To promote genuine price discovery
● Increases farmers’ options for sale and access to markets
● Liberal licensing of traders / buyers and commission agents. One license for a trader valid across all markets in the State
● Harmonisation of quality standards of agricultural produce
● Single point levy of market fees, i.e on the first wholesale purchase from the farmer.
● Provision of Soil Testing Laboratories in/ or near the selected mandi to facilitate visiting farmers to access this facility in the mandi itself

Intended beneficiary 

● 585 regulated wholesale markets in states/union territories (UTs).
● Farmers
● Local traders
● Bulk buyers, processors
● Farm produce exporters
● Overall economy of the nation

Salient features
● NAM is a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing APMCs and other market yards to create a unified national
market for agricultural commodities.
● Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has been selected as the lead agency to implement it.
● Central government will provide the software free of cost to the states and in addition, a grant of up to Rs. 30 lakhs per mandi or market or
private mandis will be given for related equipment and infrastructure requirements.
● New Features added to the scheme such as E-NAM Mobile App, BHIM Payment facility, MIS dashboard for better analysis and insights,
grievance redressal mechanism for Mandi Secretaries and integration with Farmer Database to ease the registration and identification process will further strengthen e-NAM.
● Fund Allocation – The Scheme is being funded through AgriTech Infrastructure Fund (AITF).

1.10 KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRAS

Objective
● To be a frontline extension in agriculture, and to serve as a single window mechanism for addressing the technology needs of farmers
● To demonstrate location specific technologies and build capacity of farmers
● To serve as links between research and extension and also with farmers
Intended beneficiary
● Rural youth, farm women and Farmers (skill development training)
Salient features
● Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)has created a network of 645 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in the country and 106 more
KVKs will be established.
● Directorate of Extension in State Agriculture Universities also helps KVKs in its activities.
● KVKs lay strong emphasis on skill development training of rural youth, farm women and farmers
● Provide latest technological inputs like seeds,planting materials and bio-products.
● Advise farmers on timely crop/enterprise related recommendations, including climate resilient technologies.
● Diagnose and solve problems emerging from district agro-ecosystems and lead in adoption of innovations.

1.11 MERA GAON-MERA GAURAV

Objective

● To promote direct interface of scientists withthe farmers and hasten the land to lab process.
● To imbibe a sense of ownership among the agricultural scientists
● To provide farmers with required information, knowledge and advisories on regular basis by adopting villages.

Intended beneficiary

● Scientists with ground level experience
● Farmers

Salient features
● This scheme involves scientists of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and state agricultural universities.
● Groups of four multidisciplinary scientists each will be constituted at these institutes and universities. Each group will “adopt” five villages within a radius of maximum 100 km.

1.12 Price Stabilization Fund

Objective: to safeguard the interest of the growers and provide them financial relief when prices fall below a specified level.

Scheme:
● Central Sector Scheme.
● To support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticultural commodities.
● PSF will be used to advance interest free loan to State Governments and Central agencies to support their working capital and other expenses on procurement and distribution interventions for such commodities.
● Procurement of the commodities will be undertaken directly from farmers or farmers’ organizations at farm gate/mandi and made available at a more reasonable price to the consumers.
● Initially the fund is proposed to be used for onion and potato only. Losses incurred, if any, in the operations will be shared between the Centre and the States.

Framework and Funding:

● States will set up a revolving fund to which theCentre and State will contribute equally, i.e. 50:50.
● The ratio of Centre-State contribution to the State-level corpus in respect of Northeast States will, however, be 75:25.

1.13 Mission Fingerling

● It is a programme to enable holistic development and management of the fisheries sector in India.
● The mission aims to achieve the target to enhance fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt by 2020-21 under the Blue Revolution.

Programme:

● Government has identified 20 States based ontheir potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Fingerling production and Fish Seed infrastructure in the country.
● This program will facilitate the establishment of Fingerling rearing pond and hatcheries.
● This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually, which will in turn benefit about 4 million families.
● The implementation of this program will supplement the requirement of stocking materials in the country up to a large extent, which is a much needed input to achieve the enhanced fish production.

1.14 Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution — Krishonnati Yojana

AIM

These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing
production, productivity and better returns on produce.

The Schemes that are part of the Umbrella Schemes are :-

i. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)
ii. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
iii. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
iv. Submission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE)
v. Sub-Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP)
vi. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM)
vii. Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plan Quarantine (SMPPQ)
viii. Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economics and Statistics (ISACES)
ix. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation (ISAC)
x. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Marketing (ISAM)
xi. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP-A) The Schemes/Missions focus on
creating/strengthening of infrastructure of production, reducing production cost and marketing of agriculture and allied produce.

1.15 Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)

1. The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
2. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmers’ income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with
the State Governments.
The three schemes that are part of AASHA are:
1. the Price Support Scheme (PSS)
2. the Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
3. the Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPPS)
● These three components will complement the existing schemes of the Department of Food and Public Distribution.
● They relate to paddy, wheat and other cereals and coarse grains where procurement is at MSP now.
● PSS – Under the PSS, physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies.
● Besides, NAFED and Food Corporation of India will also take up procurement of crops under PSS.
● The expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by the Centre.
● PDPS – Under the PDPS, the Centre proposes to cover all oilseeds.
● The difference between the MSP and actual selling/modal price will be directly paid into the farmer’s bank account.
● Farmers who sell their crops in recognised mandis within the notified period can benefit from it.
● PPSS – In the case of oilseeds, States will have the option to roll out PPSS in select districts.
● Under this, a private player can procure crops at MSP when market prices drop below MSP.
● The private player will then be compensated through a service charge up to a maximum of 15% of the MSP.

1.16 Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

What is the news: The Central Government notified a decision to extend the benefit of ₹6,000 per year under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi
scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding.
● Central sector scheme

Objective

○ To provide income support to all farmer families having cultivable land.
○ To supplement the financial needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income.

Salient Features:

● The revised Scheme is expected to coveraround 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore
beneficiaries.
● Responsibility of identifying the landholder farmer family eligible for benefit under the scheme shall be of the State/UT Government.
● The lists of eligible beneficiaries would be published at the village level to ensure transparency.
● Exclusions: Certain categories of beneficiaries of higher economic status such as institutional landholders, former and present holder of constitutional posts, persons who paid income tax in the last assessment year etc. shall not be eligible for benefit under the scheme.
■ Professionals like doctors, engineers and lawyers as well as retired pensioners with a monthly pension of over ₹10,000 and those who paid income tax in the last assessment year are also not eligible for the benefits.
■ For the purpose of exclusion State/UT Government can certify the eligibility of the beneficiary based on self-declaration by the beneficiaries.
● A dedicated PM Kisan Portal will be launched for the implementation of the scheme.
● This is a Central Sector Scheme and will be funded fully by the Government of India

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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

06 May 2020 | Nikaalo Prelims Quiz – Current Affairs Test 10: March 2020

Please make a note of the following

1. Some questions are purposely out of syllabus. Please think hard, try to recall and attempt them. This surprise is nothing compared to what you will experience in the actual exam.

2. While you are attempting the test, keep writing the questions numbers in the comment section in the following format.

100% sure – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions are you are 100% sure of but eventually got wrong

Could eliminate 2 options – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate the questions where you took calculated risks

Complete guess– <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions you guessed completely. 

A sample would be

100% sure-1,2,3

Could eliminate 2 options-4,5

Complete guess-6,7

This will make you more aware of what your attempt. It is very important.

3. Completing the test should be your top priority. Focus on accuracy rather than simply attempting more questions. Give enough thought to each question, we have increased the time limit so you can do this.

4. At the end of the test, click on ‘View Questions’ button to check the solutions.

*You can attempt the test multiple times for your own practice but only your first attempt will be counted for rankings.

Categories
Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] Important Schemes regarding Agriculture & Allied Sectors

Prelims Spotlight is a part of “Nikaalo Prelims 2020” module. This open crash course for Prelims 2020 has a private telegram group where PDFs and DDS (Daily Doubt Sessions) are being held. Please click here to register.

Important Schemes regarding Agriculture & Allied Sectors


06 May 2020

1.1 Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana

Objective

● To achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level.
● To enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
● To explore the feasibility of reusing treated municipal wastewater for peri-urban agriculture.
● To attract greater private investments in irrigation.
● To promote extension activities relating to water harvesting, water management and crop alignment for farmers and grass root level field
functionaries.

Salient features

● Decentralized State level planning and projectized execution’ structure, in order to allow States to draw up a District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and a State Irrigation Plan (SIP). These plans need to be prepared in order to access
the PMKSY fund.
● It will be supervised and monitored by the Inter-Ministerial National Steering Committee (NSC) under PM with Union Ministers of all concerned Ministries. A National Executive Committee (NEC) is to be constituted under the Chairmanship of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog to oversee programme implementation.
● PMKSY has been formulated amalgamation ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP); Integrated
Watershed Management Programme (IWMP); and On-Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable
Agriculture (NMSA).
● Water budgeting is done for all sectors namely, household, agriculture and industries.
● Investments will happen at farm level. So, farmers know what is happening and can provide valuable feedback.
● Recently, the Long Term Irrigation Fund has been instituted under PMKSY in NABARD for funding and fast-tracking the implementation
of incomplete major and medium irrigation projects.

1.2 RASHTRIYA KRISHI VIKAS YOJANA – RAFTAAR (RKVY-RAFTAAR)

Objective

● To make farming a remunerative economic activity through strengthening the farmer’s efforts, risk mitigation and promoting
agribusiness entrepreneurship.
● To attend national priorities through several sub-schemes.
● To empower youth through skill development, innovation and agri entrepreneurship based business models.

Salient features 

● RKVY, initiated in 2007 as an umbrella scheme for holistic development of agriculture and allied sectors, has been recently revamped as
RKVY-RAFTAAR – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation for 2017-19 and 2019-20.
● It provided states with considerable flexibility and autonomy for planning and executing Programs.
● The decentralised planning for agriculture and allied sectors is initiated by the states through District Agriculture Plan and State Agriculture
Plan based on agro-climatic conditions, availability of appropriate technology and natural priorities.
● It will incentivize states to increase allocations for agriculture and allied sectors and help in creation of post-harvest infrastructure and
promotion of private investment in the farm sector across the country.
● Fund Allocation – 60:40 grants between Centre
and States in states and 90:10 for North Eastern States and Himalayan States through following streams – o Infrastructure & Assets and Production Growth o RKVY-RAFTAAR special sub-schemes of National Priorities o Innovation
and agri-entrepreneur development.

Sub-schemes include

● Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India
● Crop Diversification Program – It is being implemented in the Original Green Revolution States of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh to diversify area from water-guzzling crop
● Reclamation of Problem Soil ● Foot & Mouth Disease – Control Program
(FMD-CP)
● Saffron Mission
● Accelerated Fodder Development Programme (AFDP)

1.3 NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY MISSION

Objective

Increasing production of rice, wheat, pulses, coarse cereals and commercial crops through area expansion and productivity enhancement
in a sustainable manner.
● Restore soil fertility and productivity at the individual farm level.
● Enhancing farm level economy.

Salient features

● It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme which was launched in 2007.
● The approach of the scheme is to bridge the yield gap in respect of these crops through dissemination of improved technologies and farm management practices while focusing on districts which have high potential but relatively low level of productivity at present.
● Major Components – National Food Security Mission – Rice, National Food Security Mission – Wheat, National Food Security Mission – Pulses,
National Food Security Mission – Coarse Cereals and National Food Security Mission –Commercial Crops.

1.4 National Horticulture Mission

1. To provide holistic growth of the horticulture sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategies, to enhance horticulture production, improve nutritional security and income support to farm households
2. To establish convergence and synergy among multiple ongoing and planned programmes for horticulture development
3. To promote, develop and disseminate technologies, through a seamless blend of traditional wisdom and modern scientific knowledge
4. To create opportunities for employment generation for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youth.

Scheme:

A National Horticulture Mission was launched in 2005-06 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector
through an area based regionally differentiated strategies. The scheme has been subsumed as a part of Mission for Integration Development of
Horticulture (MIDH) during 2014-15.

What is the National Horticulture Mission?

The National Horticulture Mission is a government mission to support horticultural production in the country. NHM is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in which the Government of India contributes 85%, and 15% is met by the State Governments.

Factual Information:

● India ranks second in the global production of fruits and vegetables next to China.
● Started in 2005-06.

1.5 SOIL HEALTH CARD SCHEME

Objective

● To issue soil health cards every 3 years, to all farmers of the country, so as to provide a basis to address nutrient deficiencies in fertilization practices.
● To strengthen the functioning of Soil Testing Laboratories (STLs) through capacity building, the involvement of agriculture students and
effective linkage with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) / State Agricultural Universities (SAUs).
● To diagnose soil fertility related constraints with standardized procedures for sampling uniformly across states.
● To build capacities of district and state level staff and of progressive farmers for promotion of nutrient management practices.

Salient features

● It is a centrally sponsored scheme launched by the Government of India in 2015.
● It is being implemented through the Department of Agriculture of all the State and Union Territory Governments.
● Assistance is provided to the State Government to issue Soil Health Card and also develop a database to improve service delivery.
● Soil Health Card issued to farmers carry crop-wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for the individual farms.
● The experts will analyze the strength and weaknesses (micronutrients deficiency) of the soil collected from farms and suggest measures
to deal with it.
● It will contain the status of his soil with respect to 12 parameters, namely N,P,K (Macronutrients); S (Secondary nutrient); Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, Bo (Micro – nutrients); and pH, EC, OC (Physical parameters).

1.6 PM FASAL BIMA YOJANA

Objective

● To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
● To stabilise the income of farmers to ensure
their continuance in farming. ● To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and
modern agricultural practices.
● To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.
Intended beneficiary.
● All farmers including sharecroppers and tenant farmers growing notified crops in a notified area during the season who have insurable interest in the crop are eligible.

Salient features

● It replaced all other existing insurance schemes except the Restructured Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (uses weather parameters as
proxy for crop yield in compensating the cultivators for deemed crop loses) .
● A uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
● In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
● There is no upper limit on Government subsidy so farmers will get claim against full sum insured without any reduction.
● The difference between the premium paid by farmers and the actuarial premium charged was paid by the Centre and state government in
the ratio of 50:50.
● It is compulsory for loanee farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas and voluntary for non-loanee farmers.
● Yield Losses: due to non-preventable risks, such as Natural Fire and Lightning, Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone, Typhoon, Tempest, Hurricane, Tornado.
Risks due to Flood, Inundation and Landslide, Drought, Dry spells, Pests/ Diseases also will be covered.
● Post-harvest losses are also covered.
● Mandatory use of technology: Smart phones, drones etc., will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers. Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting
experiments.
● The Scheme shall be implemented on an ‘Area Approach basis’. Defined Area (i.e., unit area of insurance) is Village or above. It can be a
Geo-Fenced/Geo-mapped region having homogenous Risk Profile for the notified crop.
● Presently, 5 public sector insurers (Agriculture
Insurance Company of India, United India Insurance Company etc.) and 13 private insurance companies are empanelled for implementation of the scheme.
● Recently, states have been allowed to set up their own insurance companies for implementing the scheme.

1.7 National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management and
synergizing resource conservation.

Objectives

● To make agriculture more productive, sustainable, remunerative and climate resilient by promoting location specific Integrated/Composite Farming Systems
● To conserve natural resources through appropriate soil and moisture conservation measures
● To adopt comprehensive soil health management practices based on soil fertility maps, soil test based application of macro & micro nutrients, judicious use of fertilizers etc.
● To optimize utilization of water resources through efficient water management to expand coverage for achieving ‘more crop per drop’.
● To develop capacity of farmers & stakeholders, in conjunction with other on going missions e.g. National Mission on Agriculture Extension &
Technology, National Food Security Mission, National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) etc., in the domain of
climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
● To pilot models in select blocks for improving  productivity of rainfed farming by mainstreaming rainfed technologies refined through NICRA and by leveraging resources  from other schemes/Missions like Mahatma
Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), RKVY etc.;
and
● To establish an effective inter and intra Departmental/Ministerial coordination for accomplishing key deliverables of National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under the aegis of National Action Plan on Climate
Change (NAPCC).

1.8 PARAMPARAGAT KRISHI VIKAS YOJANA

Objective

● Promotion of commercial organic production through certified organic farming.
● pesticide residue free produce and improved health of consumer
● Raise farmer’s income and create potential markets for traders.
● Motivate the farmers for natural resource mobilization for input production.
● Increase domestic production and certification of organic produce by involving farmers.

Intended beneficiary
● Farmers doing organic farming
● Farmers from NE India such as Sikkim
● Food processing industries
● Organic foods – export industry

Salient features
● “Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana” is an elaborated component of Soil Health Management (SHM) under National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
● Cluster Approach: Fifty or more farmers form a cluster having 50 acre land to take organic farming. Each farmer will be provided Rs. 20000
per acre in three years for seed to harvesting crops and to transport them to market.
● Government plans to form around 10 thousand clusters in three years and cover an area of 5 Lakh hectares under organic farming.

Components
● Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification through cluster approach – mobilization of farmers, form clusters, identification of land resources and training on organic farming and PGS Certification and
quality control.
● Adoption of organic village for manure management and biological nitrogen harvesting through cluster approach –action plan for Organic Farming, Integrated Manure Management, Packing, Labelling and Branding
of organic products of cluster.

1.9 NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL MARKET
(NAM)

Objective

● To promote genuine price discovery
● Increases farmers’ options for sale and access to markets
● Liberal licensing of traders / buyers and commission agents. One license for a trader valid across all markets in the State
● Harmonisation of quality standards of agricultural produce
● Single point levy of market fees, i.e on the first wholesale purchase from the farmer.
● Provision of Soil Testing Laboratories in/ or near the selected mandi to facilitate visiting farmers to access this facility in the mandi itself

Intended beneficiary 

● 585 regulated wholesale markets in states/union territories (UTs).
● Farmers
● Local traders
● Bulk buyers, processors
● Farm produce exporters
● Overall economy of the nation

Salient features
● NAM is a pan-India electronic trading portal which seeks to network the existing APMCs and other market yards to create a unified national
market for agricultural commodities.
● Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has been selected as the lead agency to implement it.
● Central government will provide the software free of cost to the states and in addition, a grant of up to Rs. 30 lakhs per mandi or market or
private mandis will be given for related equipment and infrastructure requirements.
● New Features added to the scheme such as E-NAM Mobile App, BHIM Payment facility, MIS dashboard for better analysis and insights,
grievance redressal mechanism for Mandi Secretaries and integration with Farmer Database to ease the registration and identification process will further strengthen e-NAM.
● Fund Allocation – The Scheme is being funded through AgriTech Infrastructure Fund (AITF).

1.10 KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRAS

Objective
● To be a frontline extension in agriculture, and to serve as a single window mechanism for addressing the technology needs of farmers
● To demonstrate location specific technologies and build capacity of farmers
● To serve as links between research and extension and also with farmers
Intended beneficiary
● Rural youth, farm women and Farmers (skill development training)
Salient features
● Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)has created a network of 645 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in the country and 106 more
KVKs will be established.
● Directorate of Extension in State Agriculture Universities also helps KVKs in its activities.
● KVKs lay strong emphasis on skill development training of rural youth, farm women and farmers
● Provide latest technological inputs like seeds,planting materials and bio-products.
● Advise farmers on timely crop/enterprise related recommendations, including climate resilient technologies.
● Diagnose and solve problems emerging from district agro-ecosystems and lead in adoption of innovations.

1.11 MERA GAON-MERA GAURAV

Objective

● To promote direct interface of scientists withthe farmers and hasten the land to lab process.
● To imbibe a sense of ownership among the agricultural scientists
● To provide farmers with required information, knowledge and advisories on regular basis by adopting villages.

Intended beneficiary

● Scientists with ground level experience
● Farmers

Salient features
● This scheme involves scientists of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and state agricultural universities.
● Groups of four multidisciplinary scientists each will be constituted at these institutes and universities. Each group will “adopt” five villages within a radius of maximum 100 km.

1.12 Price Stabilization Fund

Objective: to safeguard the interest of the growers and provide them financial relief when prices fall below a specified level.

Scheme:
● Central Sector Scheme.
● To support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticultural commodities.
● PSF will be used to advance interest free loan to State Governments and Central agencies to support their working capital and other expenses on procurement and distribution interventions for such commodities.
● Procurement of the commodities will be undertaken directly from farmers or farmers’ organizations at farm gate/mandi and made available at a more reasonable price to the consumers.
● Initially the fund is proposed to be used for onion and potato only. Losses incurred, if any, in the operations will be shared between the Centre and the States.

Framework and Funding:

● States will set up a revolving fund to which theCentre and State will contribute equally, i.e. 50:50.
● The ratio of Centre-State contribution to the State-level corpus in respect of Northeast States will, however, be 75:25.

1.13 Mission Fingerling

● It is a programme to enable holistic development and management of the fisheries sector in India.
● The mission aims to achieve the target to enhance fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt by 2020-21 under the Blue Revolution.

Programme:

● Government has identified 20 States based ontheir potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Fingerling production and Fish Seed infrastructure in the country.
● This program will facilitate the establishment of Fingerling rearing pond and hatcheries.
● This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually, which will in turn benefit about 4 million families.
● The implementation of this program will supplement the requirement of stocking materials in the country up to a large extent, which is a much needed input to achieve the enhanced fish production.

1.14 Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution — Krishonnati Yojana

AIM

These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing
production, productivity and better returns on produce.

The Schemes that are part of the Umbrella Schemes are :-

i. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)
ii. National Food Security Mission (NFSM)
iii. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
iv. Submission on Agriculture Extension (SMAE)
v. Sub-Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP)
vi. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM)
vii. Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plan Quarantine (SMPPQ)
viii. Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Census, Economics and Statistics (ISACES)
ix. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Cooperation (ISAC)
x. Integrated Scheme on Agricultural Marketing (ISAM)
xi. National e-Governance Plan (NeGP-A) The Schemes/Missions focus on
creating/strengthening of infrastructure of production, reducing production cost and marketing of agriculture and allied produce.

1.15 Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)

1. The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
2. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmers’ income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with
the State Governments.
The three schemes that are part of AASHA are:
1. the Price Support Scheme (PSS)
2. the Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
3. the Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme (PPPS)
● These three components will complement the existing schemes of the Department of Food and Public Distribution.
● They relate to paddy, wheat and other cereals and coarse grains where procurement is at MSP now.
● PSS – Under the PSS, physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies.
● Besides, NAFED and Food Corporation of India will also take up procurement of crops under PSS.
● The expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by the Centre.
● PDPS – Under the PDPS, the Centre proposes to cover all oilseeds.
● The difference between the MSP and actual selling/modal price will be directly paid into the farmer’s bank account.
● Farmers who sell their crops in recognised mandis within the notified period can benefit from it.
● PPSS – In the case of oilseeds, States will have the option to roll out PPSS in select districts.
● Under this, a private player can procure crops at MSP when market prices drop below MSP.
● The private player will then be compensated through a service charge up to a maximum of 15% of the MSP.

1.16 Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

What is the news: The Central Government notified a decision to extend the benefit of ₹6,000 per year under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi
scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding.
● Central sector scheme

Objective

○ To provide income support to all farmer families having cultivable land.
○ To supplement the financial needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income.

Salient Features:

● The revised Scheme is expected to coveraround 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore
beneficiaries.
● Responsibility of identifying the landholder farmer family eligible for benefit under the scheme shall be of the State/UT Government.
● The lists of eligible beneficiaries would be published at the village level to ensure transparency.
● Exclusions: Certain categories of beneficiaries of higher economic status such as institutional landholders, former and present holder of constitutional posts, persons who paid income tax in the last assessment year etc. shall not be eligible for benefit under the scheme.
■ Professionals like doctors, engineers and lawyers as well as retired pensioners with a monthly pension of over ₹10,000 and those who paid income tax in the last assessment year are also not eligible for the benefits.
■ For the purpose of exclusion State/UT Government can certify the eligibility of the beneficiary based on self-declaration by the beneficiaries.
● A dedicated PM Kisan Portal will be launched for the implementation of the scheme.
● This is a Central Sector Scheme and will be funded fully by the Government of India

Categories
Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] Important Groupings Related to India

Prelims Spotlight is a part of “Nikaalo Prelims 2020” module. This open crash course for Prelims 2020 has a private telegram group where PDFs and DDS (Daily Doubt Sessions) are being held. Please click here to register.

Important Groupings Related to India


05 May 2020

Trans-Pacific Partnership

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is a trade agreement between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States (until 23 January 2017) and Vietnam
  • The TPP began as an expansion of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) signed by Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore in 2005
  • The TPP contains measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade and establish an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism
  • The agreement will enter into force after ratification by all signatories if this occurs within two years
  • APEC members may accede to the TPP, as may any other jurisdiction to which existing TPP members agree. After an application for membership is received, a commission of parties to the treaty negotiates conditions for accession.

BRICS

  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
  • Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”), before the induction of South Africa in 2010.
  • The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs; all are members of G20.
  • Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. China hosted the 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen on September 2017, while Brazil hosted the most recent 11th BRICS summit on 13-14 November 2019.

New Development Bank and the Fortaleza Declaration

  • During the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014), the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • In the Fortaleza Declaration, the leaders stressed that the NDB will strengthen cooperation among BRICS and will supplement the efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global development, thus contributing to collective commitments for achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
  • The bank was established in July 2015 by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
  • The aim of the bank is to mobilize funding for infrastructure and sustainable development.
  • Its ownership structure is unique, as the BRICS countries each have an equal share and no country has any veto power.
  • In this sense, the bank is a physical expression of the desire of emerging markets to play a bigger role in global governance.
  • NDB was created to help fill the funding gap in the BRICS economies and was intended to grow its global scope over time.
  • The bank, with its subscribed capital base of US$50bn, is now poised to become a meaningful additional source of long-term finance for infrastructure in its member countries.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a trade deal that was being negotiated between 16 countries.
  • They include the 10 ASEAN members and the six countries with which the bloc has free trade agreements (FTAs) — India, Australia, China, Korea, Japan, and New Zealand.
  • The purpose of the deal is to create an “integrated market” spanning all 16 countries.
  • This means that it would be easier for the products and services of each of these countries to be available across the entire region.

RCEP – India

  • It comprises half of the world population and accounts for nearly 40% of the global commerce and 35% of the GDP. RCEP would have become the world’s largest FTA after finalisation, with India being the third-biggest economy in it.
  • Without India, the RCEP does not look as attractive as it had seemed during negotiations.
  • Divided ASEAN – ASEAN has been keen on a diversified portfolio so that member states can deal with major powers and maintain their strategic autonomy. ASEAN member states have tried to keep the U.S. engaged in the region.
  • Act East policy has been well received. With China’s rise in the region, ASEAN member states have been keen on Indian involvement in the region.
  • Indo-Pacific – India’s entire Indo-Pacific strategy might be open to question if steps are not taken to restore India’s profile in the region.
  • Rejected China’s dominance – India signalled that, despite the costs, China’s rise has to be tackled both politically and economically.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the then security and economic architecture in the Eurasian region dissolved and new structures had to come up.
  • The original Shanghai Five were China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
  • The SCO was formed in 2001, with Uzbekistan included. It expanded in 2017 to include India and Pakistan.
  • Since its formation, the SCO has focused on regional non-traditional security, with counter-terrorism as a priority:
  • The fight against the “three evils” of terrorism, separatism and extremism has become its mantra.
  • Today, areas of cooperation include themes such as economics and culture.

India’s entry to the SCO

  • India and Pakistan both were observer countries.
  • While Central Asian countries and China were not in favour of expansion initially, the main supporter — of India’s entry in particular — was Russia.
  • A widely held view is that Russia’s growing unease about an increasingly powerful China prompted it to push for its expansion.
  • From 2009 onwards, Russia officially supported India’s ambition to join the SCO. China then asked for its all-weather friend Pakistan’s entry.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity. This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
  • The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South-East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.
  • BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.  The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economies. In the last five years, BIMSTEC Member States have been able to sustain an average 6.5% economic growth trajectory despite a global financial meltdown.

SAARC & SAARC Countries

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia.  Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  SAARC was founded in Dhaka in 1985.
  • Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu.
  • The organization promotes the development of economic and regional integration.
  • It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006.
  • SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the United Nation as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities.
  • Observers Of SAARC: – States with observer status include Australia, China, the European Union, Iran, Japan, Mauritius Myanmar, South Korea and the United States.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising ten Southeast Asian countries
  • It promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration amongst its members and other Asian countries
  • It members are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam
  • ASEAN shares land and maritime borders with India, China
  • ASEAN is an official United Nations Observer.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

  • The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a group of nuclear supplier countries that seeks to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons through the implementation of two sets of Guidelines for nuclear exports and nuclear-related exports.
  • One of the critical elements for inclusion into the NSG is that the member countries need to signatories of the NPT, a proposal which India has categorically disagreed.
  • However considering India’s history of nuclear non-proliferation, the US and subsequently the NSG have shown some recognition and granted India with the waiver of dealing with other countries for nuclear technology.

Recent Developments

  • Present Indian government embarked to pursue the ambitious goal of NSG membership aggressively.
  • The prime minister visited countries like the USA, Netherlands, Mexico, and Portugal to secure support from these countries.
  • US administration under Obama and Donald trump reiterated their support for Indian entry to the NSG. Russia also extended its support.
  • NSG takes a decision based on a consensus of the member countries. So it is important to secure the support of each and every member country.
  • China is against the granting membership. Insisted on a criteria-based approach for the non-NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) signatory countries.
  • China has also maintained that for non-NPT members some definite criteria should be evolved rather than granting country-specific waivers. At other times, it has stated that Pakistan also has similar credentials to join the NSG; and that if India is admitted; Pakistan should also be admitted simultaneously.
  • Some other countries, including Turkey, Switzerland, Mexico and New Zealand, were among those which have stressed on the criteria-based approach, without opposing India’s application outright.

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

  • OPCW is an intergovernmental organization and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997
  • The OPCW, with its 193 member states, has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons
  • The organization promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction
  • Verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by member states and onsite inspections
  • The OPCW has the power to say whether chemical weapons were used in an attack it has investigated
  • The organization was awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”

The Australian Group

  • The Australia Group is a multilateral export control regime (MECR) and an informal group of countries (now joined by the European Commission) established in 1985 (after the use of chemical weapons by Iraq in 1984) to help member countries to identify those exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons
  • The group, initially consisting of 15 members, held its first meeting in Brussels, Belgium, in September 1989. With the incorporation of India on January 19, 2018, it now has 43 members, including Australia, the European Commission, all 28 member states of the European Union, Ukraine, and Argentina
  • The name comes from Australia’s initiative to create the group. Australia manages the secretariat
  • The initial members of the group had different assessments of which chemical precursors should be subject to export control
  • Later adherents initially had no such controls
  • Today, members of the group maintain export controls on a uniform list of 54 compounds, including several that are not prohibited for export under the Chemical Weapons Convention but can be used in the manufacture of chemical weapons
  • In 2002, the group took two important steps to strengthen export control
  • The first was the “no-undercut” requirement, which stated that any member of the group considering making an export to another state that had already been denied an export by any other member of the group must first consult with that member state before approving the export
  • The second was the “catch-all” provision, which requires member states to halt all exports that could be used by importers in chemical or biological weapons programs, regardless of whether the export is on the group’s control lists.
  • Delegations representing the members meet every year in Paris, France
WTO
  • US, UK and a few other countries set up, an interim organisation about trade named GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade) in 1947
  • GATT was biased in favour of the developed countries and was called informally as the Rich men’s club.
  • So, the developing countries insisted on setting up the International Trade Organisation (ITO)
  • That’s the reason, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was set up in 1964 as an alternative, on the recommendation of the UN committee
  • Next development comes in Uruguay Round of GATT, it sought to expand the scope of the organisation by including, services, investment and intellectual property rights (IPR)
  • Agreements were ratified by the legislatures of 85 member-countries by year-end 1994.
  • On such rectification, the WTO started functioning from Jan 1, 1995, Marrakesh Agreement>

Functions of WTO

  • The WTO deals with regulation of trade in goods, services and intellectual property between participating countries.
  • It provides a framework for negotiating trade agreements and a dispute resolution process aimed at enforcing participants’ adherence to WTO agreements, which are signed by representatives of member governments and ratified by their parliaments.

G20

  • Formed in 1999, the G20 is an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
  • Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 percent of the Gross World Product (GWP), 80 percent of world trade.
  • To tackle the problems or the address issues that plague the world, the heads of governments of the G20 nations periodically participate in summits.
  • In addition to it, the group also hosts separate meetings of the finance ministers and foreign ministers.
  • The G20 has no permanent staff of its own and its chairmanship rotates annually between nations divided into regional groupings. 

Aims and objectives

  • The Group was formed with the aim of studying, reviewing, and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability.
  • The forum aims to pre-empt the balance of payments problems and turmoil on financial markets by improved coordination of monetary, fiscal, and financial policies.
  • It seeks to address issues that go beyond the responsibilities of any one organisation.

Member Countries

The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).

  • The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
  • The European Union is represented by the European Commission and by the European Central Bank.

 Who are the G20 Sherpas?

  • A Sherpa is the personal representative of a head of state or government who prepares an international summit, particularly the annual G7 and G20 summits.
  • Between the summits, there are multiple Sherpa conferences where possible agreements are laid out.
  • This reduces the amount of time and resources required at the negotiations of the heads of state at the final summit.
  • The Sherpa is generally quite influential, although they do not have the authority to make a final decision about any given agreement.
  • The name is derived from the Sherpa people, a Nepalese ethnic group, who serve as guides and porters in the Himalayas, a reference to the fact that the Sherpa clears the way for a head of state at a major summit.

G7

  • The G7 or the Group of Seven is a group of the seven most advanced economies as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • The seven countries are Canada, USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy. The EU is also represented in the G7.
  • These countries, with the seven largest IMF-described advanced economies in the world, represent 58% of the global net wealth ($317 trillion).
  • The G7 countries also represent more than 46% of the global gross domestic product (GDP) based on nominal values, and more than 32% of the global GDP based on purchasing power parity.
  • The requirements to be a member of the G7 are a high net national wealth and a high HDI (Human Development Index).

 

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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

04 May2020 | Nikaalo Prelims Quiz – Economy Test 3: Budget 2020/IYB/Eco Survey

Dear students,

1. In the comments section, share your score and also let everyone know the logic you’ve used to mark certain answers. This will trigger intelligent discussions benefitting everyone.

2. Completing the test should be your top priority. Focus on accuracy rather than simply attempting more questions. Give enough thought to each question, we have increased the time limit so you can do this.

3. At the end of the test, click on ‘View Questions’ button to check the solutions.

*You can attempt the test multiple times for your own practice but only your first attempt will be counted for rankings.

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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

[Prelims Spotlight] Important Keywords in Budget and Eco Survey

Prelims Spotlight is a part of “Nikaalo Prelims 2020” module. This open crash course for Prelims 2020 has a private telegram group where PDFs and DDS (Daily Doubt Sessions) are being held. Please click here to register.

Important Keywords in Budget and Eco Survey


04 May 2020

The Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Economic Survey 2019-20 in the Parliament today. The Key Highlights of the Survey are as follows:

Wealth Creation: The Invisible Hand Supported by the Hand of Trust

  • The big idea from the Economic Survey 2019-20 is the need to push towards increasing the number of wealth creators in the Indian economy.
  • The Survey states that to achieve the goal of becoming a $5-trillion economy, the invisible hand of markets will need the support of “the hand of trust”.

Wealth Creation

  • Essentially, this means that regulation and rules in the economy should be such that they make it easy to do business but not turn into crony capitalism.
  • The Survey states: “The invisible hand needs to be strengthened by promoting pro-business policies to:
  1. Provide equal opportunities for new entrants, enable fair competition and ease doing business,
  2. Eliminate policies that unnecessarily undermine markets through government intervention,
  3. Enable trade for job creation, and
  4. Efficiently scale-up the banking sector to be proportionate to the size of the Indian economy.”

How can this be done?

  • The Survey introduces the idea of “trust as a public good that gets enhanced with greater use”.
  • In other words, it states that policies must empower transparency and effective enforcement using data and technology to enhance this public good.
  • A key element here is the need to increase the opportunities for new entrants.
  • “Equal opportunity for new entrants is important because… a 10 per cent increase in new firms in a district yields a 1.8 per cent increase in Gross Domestic District Product (GDDP)”.
  • According to the Survey, the right policy mix can boost job creation

Focus on Ethical Wealth Creation

  • The Survey emphasised on the importance of ‘Ethical Wealth Creation’, as the key to making India $5 trillion economies by 2025.
  • Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, the Chief Economic Adviser of Ministry of Finance has done a commendable job in producing a thought-provoking masterpiece on ‘ethical wealth creation.

Pro-business versus Pro-markets Strategy

  • Survey says that India’s aspiration of becoming a $5 trillion economy depends critically on:
  1. Promoting a ‘pro-business’ policy that unleashes the power of competitive markets to generate wealth.
  2. Weaning away from ‘pro-crony’ policy that may favour specific private interests, especially powerful incumbents.
  • Pro-crony policies such as discretionary allocation of natural resources till 2011 led to rent-seeking by beneficiaries while the competitive allocation of the same post-2014 ended such rent extraction.

Strengthening the invisible hand by promoting pro-business policies to:

  1. Provide equal opportunities for new entrants.
  2. Enable fair competition and ease doing business.
  3. Eliminate policies unnecessarily undermining markets through government intervention.
  4. Enable trade for job creation.
  5. Efficiently scale-up the banking sector.
  • Introducing the idea of trust as a public good, which gets enhanced with greater use.
  • The survey suggests that policies must empower transparency and effective enforcement using data and technology.

Entrepreneurship at the Grassroots

  • Entrepreneurship as a strategy to fuel productivity growth and wealth creation.
  • India ranks third in a number of new firms created, as per the World Bank.
  • New firm creation in India increased dramatically since 2014:
  1. 2 % cumulative annual growth rate of new firms in the formal sector during 2014-18, compared to 3.8 % during 2006-2014.
  2. About 1.24 lakh new firms created in 2018, an increase of about 80 % from about 70,000 in 2014.
  • The survey examines the content and drivers of entrepreneurial activity at the bottom of the administrative pyramid – over 500 districts in India.
  • New firm creation in services is significantly higher than that in manufacturing, infrastructure or agriculture.
  • Survey notes that grassroots entrepreneurship is not just driven by necessity.
  • A 10 percent increase in registration of new firms in a district yields a 1.8 % increase in Gross Domestic District Product (GDDP).

Impact of education on entrepreneurship

  • Literacy and education in a district foster local entrepreneurship significantly:
  1. The impact is most pronounced when literacy is above 70 per cent.
  2. New firm formation is the lowest in eastern India with the lowest literacy rate (59.6 % as per 2011 Census).
  • Physical infrastructure quality in the district influences new firm creation significantly.
  • Ease of Doing Business and flexible labour regulation enable new firm creation, especially in the manufacturing sector.
  • Survey suggests enhancing ease of doing business and implementing flexible labour laws can create maximum jobs in districts and thereby in the states.

Divestment in public sector undertakings

  • The Survey has aggressively pitched for divestment in PSUs by proposing a separate corporate entity wherein the government’s stake can be transferred and divested over a period of time.
  • The survey analysed the data of 11 PSUs that had been divested from 1999-2000 and 2003-04 and compared the data with their peers in the same industry.
  • Further, the survey has said privatized entities have performed better than their peers in terms of net worth, profit, return on equity and sales, among others.
  • The government can transfer its stake in listed CPSEs to a separate corporate entity.
  • This entity would be managed by an independent board and would be mandated to divest the government stake in these CPSEs over a period of time.
  • This will lend professionalism and autonomy to the disinvestment programme which, in turn, would improve the economic performance of the CPSEs.

Golden jubilee of bank nationalization: Taking stock

  • The survey observes 2019 as the golden jubilee year of bank nationalization
  • Accomplishments of lakhs of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) employees cherished and an objective assessment of PSBs suggested by the Survey.
  • Since 1969, India’s banking sector has not developed proportionately to the growth in the size of the economy.
  • India has only one bank in the global top 100 – same as countries that are a fraction of its size: Finland (about 1/11th), Denmark (1/8th), etc.
  • A large economy needs an efficient banking sector to support its growth.

The onus of supporting the economy falls on the PSBs accounting for 70 % of the market share in Indian banking:

  1. PSBs are inefficient compared to their peer groups on every performance parameter.
  2. In 2019, investment for every rupee in PSBs, on average, led to the loss of 23 paise, while in NPBs it led to the gain of 9.6 paise.
  3. Credit growth in PSBs has been much lower than NPBs for the last several years.

Solutions to make PSBs more efficient:

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for PSBs’ employees
  • Representation on boards proportionate to the blocks held by employees to incentivize employees and align their interests with that of all shareholders of banks.
  • Creation of a GSTN type entity that will aggregate data from all PSBs and use technologies like big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning in credit decisions for ensuring better screening and monitoring of borrowers, especially the large ones.

Doubts regarding GDP Growth

  • GDP growth is a critical variable for decision-making by investors and policymakers. Therefore, the recent debate about the accuracy of India’s GDP estimation following the revised estimation methodology in 2011 is extremely significant.
  • As countries differ in several observed and unobserved ways, cross-country comparisons have to be undertaken by separating the effect of other confounding factors and isolating effect of methodology revision alone on GDP growth estimates.
  • Models that incorrectly over-estimate GDP growth by 2.7 % for India post-2011 also misestimate GDP growth over the same period for 51 out of 95 countries in the sample.

Fiscal Developments

  • Revenue Receipts registered a higher growth during the first eight months of 2019-20, compared to the same period last year, led by considerable growth in Non-Tax revenue.
  • Gross GST monthly collections have crossed the mark of Rs. 1 lakh crore for a total of five times during 2019-20 (up to December 2019).
  • Structural reforms undertaken in taxation during the current financial year:
  • Change in the corporate tax rate.
  • Measures to ease the implementation of GST.
  • Fiscal deficit of states within the targets set out by the FRBM Act.
  • Survey notes that the General Government (Centre plus States) has been on the path of fiscal consolidation.

External Sector

Balance of Payments (BoP):

  • India’s BoP position improved from US$ 412.9 bn of forex reserves in end-March, 2019 to US$ 433.7 bn in end September 2019.
  • Current account deficit (CAD) narrowed from 2.1% in 2018-19 to 1.5% of GDP in H1 of 2019-20.
  • Foreign reserves stood at US$ 461.2 bn as on 10th January 2020.

Global trade:

  • India’s merchandise trade balance improved from 2009-14 to 2014-19, although most of the improvement in the latter period was due to more than 50% decline in crude prices in 2016-17.
  • India’s top five trading partners continue to be USA, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.

Exports:

  • Top export items: Petroleum products, precious stones, drug formulations & biologicals, gold and other precious metals.
  • Largest export destinations in 2019-20 (April-November): United States of America (USA), followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Hong Kong.
  • The merchandise exports to GDP ratio declined, entailing a negative impact on BoP position.
  • A slowdown of world output had an impact on reducing the export to GDP ratio, particularly from 2018-19 to H1 of 2019-20.
  • Growth in Non-POL exports dropped significantly from 2009-14 to 2014-19.

Imports:

  •  Top import items: Crude petroleum, gold, petroleum products, coal, coke & briquettes.
  •  India’s imports continue to be largest from China, followed by USA, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
  •  Merchandise imports to GDP ratio declined for India, entailing a net positive impact on BoP.
  • Large Crude oil imports in the import basket correlates India’s total imports with crude prices. As crude price raises so does the share of crude in total imports, increasing imports to GDP ratio.

Logistics industry of India:

  • Currently estimated to be around US$ 160 billion.
  • Expected to touch US$ 215 billion by 2020.
  • According to World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, India ranks 44th in 2018 globally, up from 54th rank in 2014.

Direct investments and remittances:

  • Net FDI inflows continued to be buoyant in 2019-20 attracting US$ 24.4 bn in the first eight months, higher than the corresponding period of 2018-19.
  • Net FPI in the first eight months of 2019-20 stood at US$ 12.6 bn.
  • Net remittances from Indians employed overseas continued to increase, receiving US$ 38.4 billion in H1 of 2019-20 which is more than 50% of the previous year level.

External debt:

  • Remains low at 20.1% of GDP as at end September, 2019.
  • After significant decline since 2014-15, India’s external liabilities (debt and equity) to GDP increased at the end of June, 2019 primarily by increase in FDI, portfolio flows and external commercial borrowings (ECBs).

Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation

Monetary policy:

  • Remained accommodative in 2019-20.
  • Repo rate was cut by 110 basis points in four consecutive MPC meetings in the financial year due to slower growth and lower inflation.
  • However, it was kept unchanged in the fifth meeting held in December 2019.
  • In 2019-20, liquidity conditions were tight for initial two months; but subsequently it remained comfortable.

Prices and Inflation

Inflation Trends:

  • Inflation witnessing moderation since 2014
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation increased from 3.7 per cent in 2018-19 (April to December, 2018) to 4.1 per cent in 2019-20 (April to December, 2019).
  • WPI inflation fell from 4.7 per cent in 2018-19 (April to December, 2018) to 1.5 per cent during 2019-20 (April to December, 2019).

Drivers of CPI – Combined (C) inflation:

  • During 2018-19, the major driver was the miscellaneous group
  • During 2019-20 (April-December), food and beverages was the main contributor.
  • Among food and beverages, inflation in vegetables and pulses was particularly high due to low base effect and production side disruptions like untimely rain.

Cob-web Phenomenon (Cyclical fluctuations in inflation) for Pulses:

  • Farmers base their sowing decisions on prices witnessed in the previous marketing period.
  • Measures to safeguard farmers like procurement under Price Stabilization Fund (PSF), Minimum Support Price (MSP) need to be made more effective.

The volatility of Prices:

  • The volatility of prices for most of the essential food commodities with the exception of some of the pulses has actually come down in the period 2014-19 as compared to the period 2009-14.
  • Lower volatility might indicate the presence of better marketing channels, storage facilities and effective MSP system.

Essential Commodities Act is outdated

  • The Centre’s imposition of stock limits in a bid to control the soaring prices of onions over the last few months actually increased price volatility, according to the ES.
  • The finding came in a hard-hitting attack in the report against the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) and other “anachronistic legislation” and interventionist government policies, including drug price control, grain procurement and farm loan waivers.
  • The Centre invoked the Act’s provisions to impose stock limits on onions after heavy rains wiped out a quarter of the Kharif crop and led to a sustained spike in prices.
  • However the Survey showed that there was actually an increase in price volatility and a widening wedge between wholesale and retail prices.
  • The lower stock limits must have led the traders and wholesalers to offload most of the kharif crop in October itself which led to a sharp increase in the price volatility.

Agriculture

  • Agricultural productivity is also constrained by a lower level of mechanization in agriculture which is about 40 % in India, much lower than China (59.5 %) and Brazil (75 %).
  • With regard to the Agri sector, the Survey argued that the beneficiaries of farm loan waivers consume less, save less, invest less and are less productive.
  • It added that the government procurement of foodgrains led to a burgeoning food subsidy burden and inefficiencies in the markets, arguing for a shift to cash transfers instead.

Food Management

  • The share of agriculture and allied sectors in the total Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country has been continuously declining on account of relatively higher growth performance of non-agricultural sectors.
  • GVA at Basic Prices for 2019-20 from ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’ sector is estimated to grow by 2.8 %.

Services Sector

The increasing significance of services sector in the Indian economy:

  1. About 55 % of the total size of the economy and GVA growth.
  2.  Two-thirds of the total FDI inflows into India.
  3. About 38 per cent of total exports.
  4. More than 50 % of GVA in 15 out of the 33 states and UTs.

Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development

  • The expenditure on social services (health, education and others) by the Centre and States as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 % in 2014-15 to 7.7 % in 2019-20 (BE).
  • India’s ranking in the Human Development Index improved to 129 in 2018 from 130 in 2017:
  • With 1.34 % average annual HDI growth, India is among the fastest-improving countries
  • Gross Enrolment Ratio at secondary, higher secondary and higher education level needs to be improved.
  • Gender disparity in India’s labour market widened due to a decline in female labour force participation especially in rural areas:
  • Around 60 % of productive age (15-59) group engaged in full-time domestic duties.

Sustainable Development and Climate Change

  • India moving forward on the path of SDG implementation through well-designed initiatives
  • SDG India Index:
  1. Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh are front runners.
  2. Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh come under the category of Aspirants.
  • India hosted COP-14 to UNCCD which adopted the Delhi Declaration: Investing in Land and Unlocking Opportunities.
  • COP-25 of UNFCCC at Madrid:
  1. India reiterated its commitment to implement the Paris Agreement.
  2. COP-25 decisions include efforts for climate change mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation from developed country parties to developing country parties.
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Mission Nikaalo Prelims

02 May2020 | Nikaalo Prelims Quiz – Feb CA 2020

Please make a note of the following

1. Some questions are purposely out of syllabus. Please think hard, try to recall and attempt them. This surprise is nothing compared to what you will experience in the actual exam.

2. While you are attempting the test, keep writing the questions numbers in the comment section in the following format.

100% sure – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions are you are 100% sure of but eventually got wrong

Could eliminate 2 options – <list of question numbers>. This will indicate the questions where you took calculated risks

Complete guess– <list of question numbers>. This will indicate how many questions you guessed completely. 

A sample would be

100% sure-1,2,3

Could eliminate 2 options-4,5

Complete guess-6,7

This will make you more aware of what your attempt. It is very important.

3. Completing the test should be your top priority. Focus on accuracy rather than simply attempting more questions. Give enough thought to each question, we have increased the time limit so you can do this.

4. At the end of the test, click on ‘View Questions’ button to check the solutions.

*You can attempt the test multiple times for your own practice but only your first attempt will be counted for rankings.