1st March, 2018-IAS Current Affairs
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‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles’ India (FAME INDIA)
(GS3: Conservation of Environment)
Issue: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has come a step closer to its ambitious plan of plying electric buses on the city’s roads. The first phase will see the introduction of 40 e-buses with the transport corporation charging fares on par with existing AC buses.
About FAME India programme
The objective of this scheme is to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing eco-system. The scheme has 4 focus areas i.e. Technology development, Demand Creation, Pilot Projects and Charging Infrastructure. The phase-I of the scheme is being implemented for a period of 2 years i.e. FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 commencing from 1st April 2015.
The FAME India Scheme is aimed at incentivizing all vehicle segments i.e. 2 Wheeler, 3 Wheeler Auto, Passenger 4 Wheeler Vehicle, Light Commercial Vehicles and Buses. The scheme covers Hybrid & Electric technologies like Mild Hybrid, Strong Hybrid, Plug in Hybrid & Battery Electric Vehicles.
Ministry of heavy industries is the nodal agency for the implementation of this programme
‘National Green Tribunal’
(GS3: Conservation of Environment)
Issue: Following previous orders, the Karnataka government on Wednesday submitted an action plan with regard to a ‘holistic rejuvenation’ of the three lakes in Bengaluru, including Bellandur, in which there had been recurrent cases of fire.
It also directed the government to file a report on ‘physical removal’ of macrophytes.
What are macrophytes?
Macrophytes are aquatic plants growing in or near water. They may be either emergent (i.e., with upright portions above the water surface), submerged or floating. Examples of macrophytes include cattails, hydrilla, water hyacinth and duckweed. Macrophytes provide cover for fish and substrate for aquatic invertebrates. They also produce oxygen and provide food for some fish and other wildlife.
The depth, density, diversity and types of macrophytes present in a system are indicators of water body health. Where submerged aquatic macrophytes are abundant, they can have a heavy influence on habitat structure, fish-ability, recreational use and nutrient dynamics. The absence of macrophytes may indicate water quality problem such as excessive turbidity, herbicides or salinization which interfere with plant growth and development. However, an overabundance of macrophytes can result from high nutrient levels and may affect ecosystem health, recreational activities and the aesthetic appeal of the system.
(GS3: Conservation of Environment)
Issue: The renowned islets of Ranganathittu on the banks of the river Cauvery in Srirangapatna will be pitched to be recognized as a Ramsar wetland site of international importance.
India is a signatory to the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, which was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. The convention provides a framework for conservation of wetlands and their resources. There are currently 26 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, but none of them are in Karnataka.
About Ranganathittu sanctuary
the sanctuary supports more than 1% of the world population of spot-billed pelicans — as against a global population of nearly 17,000, Ranganathittu supports about 1,000 of them. The total population of painted storks population is between 15,000 and 20,000, but there are more than 1,000 of these birds at Ranganathittu. The sanctuary supports mugger crocodiles and a host of other species of birds also.
About Ramsar Convention
Ramsar is the oldest of the modern global intergovernmental environmental agreements. The treaty was negotiated through the 1960s by countries and non – governmental organizations concerned about the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory water birds. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975.
Every three years, representatives of the Contracting Parties meet as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the policy-making organ of the Convention which adopts decisions (Resolutions and Recommendations) to administer the work of the Convention and improve the way in which the Parties are able to implement its objectives.
COP13 will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2018
The Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands approved “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future” as the theme for World Wetlands Day in 2018.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
‘E-Way Bill for Movement of Goods’
(GS3: Indian Economy)
Issue: The group of ministers assessing technology issues related to the Goods and Services Tax regime has proposed rolling out on April 1 the e-way bill system to track inter-State movement of goods above the value of Rs. 50,000.
For intra-State goods movement, the government had said all States must launch their own e-way bill systems by June 1.
What is E-way bill?
*The E-way bill, short form for electronic way bill, is a document to be generated online under the GST system, when goods of the value of more than ₹50,000 are shipped inter-State or intra-State. The E-way bill must be raised before the goods are shipped and should include details of the goods, their consignor, recipient and transporter.
*The transporter has to carry the invoice and the copy of E-way bill as support documents for the movement of goods. He can also carry the E-way bill number, mapped to an RFID (radio frequency identification device).
*Though check-posts have been abolished under GST, a consignment can be intercepted at any point for the verification of its E-way bill, for all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods. If a consignment is found without an E-way bill, a penalty of ₹10,000 or tax sought to be evaded, whichever is greater, can be levied.
*GST laws flexibly allow any of the parties to a transaction — the consignor or the recipient — to generate the E-way bill, provided they are registered. Whether goods are transported on one’s own or hired conveyance, by air, rail or road, the E-way bill has to be generated. Where the goods are handed over to a transporter for conveyance by road and neither the consignor nor the consignee has generated the E-way Bill, the transporter becomes liable to generate it.
*When the consignor or transporter generates the E-way bill, the recipient for the consignment has to either accept or reject it on the portal. If no action is taken by the recipient in 72 hours, it shall be taken as accepted.
Importance of E-way bill
*One of the key arguments in favor of GST was its ability to unify India as a market and do away with bothersome inter-State check-posts. Both the GST levy and the E-way bill were expected to root out such transit delays, while at the same time plugging tax evasion. Also, a single electronic way bill for the movement of goods throughout the country was expected to save tons of paperwork and sidestep various inter-state clearances for buyers, sellers and transporters. In the previous tax regime, each State framed its own rules for the movement of goods from and to it.
‘Core Sector Growth’
(GS3: Indian Economy)
Issue: Growth in the country’s core sector accelerated to 6.7% in January, 2018 from 3.4% a year ago thanks to a huge jump in the output of cement and petroleum refinery, and a robust performance by the electricity sector.
The growth in eight core sectors, which comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was 4.2% in December and 7.4% in November, 2017.
What constitutes Core industries?
The summary of the Index of Eight Core Industries (base: 2011-12)
1. Coal production (weight: 10.33 %)
2. Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98 %)
3. The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88)
4.Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04)
5. Fertilizer production (weight: 2.63 %)
6.Steel production (weight: 17.92 %)
7.Cement production (weight: 5.37%)
8.Electricity generation (weight: 19.85%)
Index of Industrial Production
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy such as mineral mining, electricity and manufacturing. The all India IIP is a composite indicator that measures the short-term changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products during a given period with respect to that in a chosen base period. It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) six weeks after the reference month ends.
The level of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an abstract number, the magnitude of which represents the status of production in the industrial sector for a given period of time as compared to a reference period of time. The base year was at one time fixed at 1993–94 so that year was assigned an index level of 100. The current base year is 2011-2012
‘Manufacturing sector growth’
(GS3: Indian Economy)
Issue: India’s manufacturing sector activity fell to a four-month low in February, as factory output and new business orders rose at a slower pace, according to a monthly survey.
The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to 52.1 in February from 52.4 in January, indicating a modest improvement in operating conditions.
What is PMI?
PMI stands for ‘Purchasing Managers’ index’ and is considered as an indicator of the economic health and investor sentiments about the manufacturing sector (there is services PMI as well).
In a PMI data, a reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while a reading below 50 points shows contraction of economic activities.
The PMI is constructed separately for manufacturing and services sector. But the manufacturing sector holds more importance.
For India, the PMI Data is published by Japanese firm Nikkei but compiled and constructed by Market Economics (for the US, it is the ISM). A manufacturing PMI and services PMI are prepared and published by the two.
(GS3: Government Budgeting)
Issue: India’s fiscal deficit touched Rs6.77 trillion at the end of January, 113.7% of the target for the entire financial year, on account of higher expenditure
What is Fiscal Deficit?
The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government. While calculating the total revenue, borrowings are not included.
Vodafone, Nokia to create 4G network on moon
(Facts that could be asked in prelims)
Vodafone plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by PT Scientists in 2019 and has appointed Nokia as its technology partner.
Berlin-based company, PT Scientists is working with Vodafone Germany and Audi to achieve the first privately-funded Moon landing. Mission to the Moon is due to launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Vodafone said in a statement.
Vodafone’s network expertise will be used to setup Moon’s first 4G networks. Connecting two Audi lunar quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA)
‘National Science Day 2018’
(GS3: Achievements of Indians in Science and Technology)
National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February each year to mark the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928.
For his discovery, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
National science day is celebrated on every year on 28 February.The celebration also includes public speeches, radio-TV talk shows, science movies, science exhibitions based on themes and concepts, watching the night sky, live projects, research demonstration, debates, quiz competitions, lectures, science model exhibitions and many more activities.
National Science Day is being celebrated every year to widely spread a message about the Importance of science used in the daily life of the people. To display all the activities, efforts and achievements in the field of science for human welfare. It is the main science function of India
Also, to discuss all the issues and implement new technologies for the development in the field of science. To give an opportunity to the scientific minded citizens in the country. To encourage the people as well as popularize the Science and Technology.
The theme of the year 2018 is “Science and Technology for a sustainable future.”
What is Raman Effect?
Raman effect, change in the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules. When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam. Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light; its presence is a result of the Raman Effect
Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
(GS2: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the centre)
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 for introduction in the Parliament.
The Bill broadly has the following features:-
1.Addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
2.Aggravated forms of trafficking, which includes trafficking for the purpose of forced labour, begging, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity, trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage etc.
3.Punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person which includes producing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued, tampered or fake certificates, registration or stickers as proof of compliance with Government requirements; or commits fraud for procuring or facilitating the acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
4.The confidentiality of victims/ witnesses and complainants by not disclosing their identity. Further the confidentiality of the victims is maintained by recording their statement through video conferencing (this also helps in trans-border and inter-State crimes).
5.Time bound trial and repatriation of the victims – within a period of one year from taking into cognizance.
6.Immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation. The Victims are entitled to interim relief immediately within 30 days to address their physical, mental trauma etc. and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
7.Rehabilitation of the victim which is not contingent upon criminal proceedings being initiated against the accused or the outcome thereof.
8.Rehabilitation Fund created for the first time. To be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care/psychological support, legal aid, safe accommodation, etc.
9.Designated courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
10.The Bill creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central Level. These will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking. National Investigation Agency (NIA) will perform the tasks of Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level present under the MHA.
11.Punishment ranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh.
12.In order to break the organized nexus, both at the national and international level, the Bill provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property and also the proceeds for crime.
13.The Bill comprehensively addresses the transnational nature of the crime. The National Anti-Trafficking Bureau will perform the functions of international coordination with authorities in foreign countries and international organizations; international assistance in investigation; facilitate inter-State and trans-border transfer of evidence and materials, witnesses and others for expediting prosecution; facilitate inter-state and international video conferencing in judicial proceedings etc.
Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) NAG
(GS3: Indigenization of Technology)
Issue: Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) NAG were successfully flight-tested today in desert conditions against two tank targets at different ranges and timings. NAG ATGM has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and today’s flight tests have once again proved its capability. With this, the developmental trials of the missile have been completed and it is now ready for induction.
Agreements signed between India and Jordan during the visit of Jordan President this week
(GS2: Bilateral Relations)
Agreement between India and Jordan in the field of:
1.Cooperation in Health Sector
2.Field of manpower
3.Cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in the field of customs matters
4.Mining of Rock Phoshpate
Source: PIB Release 28.2.2018
‘Green Good Deeds movement’
(Facts that could be asked in prelims)
The App, named “Dr Harsh Vardhan”, focuses on his social & public activities and involvement of citizens in “Green Good Deeds” movement, which urges people to perform at least one Green Good Deed every day. Some of the 500 Green Good Deeds listed in the Mobile App include – planting trees, saving energy, conserving water, use of public transport and promoting carpool. The objective of transforming Green Good Deeds into a peoples’ movement can be best achieved by starting mass digital campaigns that can reach out to youth and children. The digital connect can change the way people think and change the way they act, thereby changing the relationship between public representatives and citizens.