Common Cause and Centre for
the Study Developing Societies has released Status of Policing in India
Report 2019. The report highlights the dismal work conditions in which the
police operate in India.
According to the report, the
police force work with just 3/4th of its required capacity. An average
police officer works for 14 hours a day, six hours more than what the
Model Police Act recommends
The study also found a
decline in the total strength of women in the police from 11.4% in 2007 to
10.2% in 2016. Tamil Nadu had highest representation of women at 12.9% in
The report stated that 28%
police personnel believe that pressure from politicians is the biggest
hindrance in a crime investigation. The other obstacles cited were related
to society, legal systems and internal working systems in police
According to the report, 50%
of Indian policemen believes that Muslims are “very much” or “somewhat”
prone to committing crimes. One-third of policemen also believe that
people from Schedule Caste are prone to committing crimes.
The survey also found that
while the police personnel were sufficiently trained on physical
parameters, weaponry and in crowd control, many lacked training on modules
of new technology, cybercrime or forensic technology.
Two new species of marine eel
have been discovered and documented by Estuarine Biology Regional Centre
(EBRC) of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) at Gopalpur-on-sea in
One of them is a short brown
un-patterned moray eel. It has been named ‘Gymnothorax andamanensesis’.
Another species discovered
was a white-spotted moray eel which has been named ‘Gymnothorax smithi’
Marine eels are mostly found
in shallow waters but some of them live offshore in sandy or clayey
bottoms ranging up to 500 metres.
The Zoological Survey of
India (ZSI) is the premier Indian organization, under Environment Ministry
for zoological research and studies to promote the survey, exploration and
research of the fauna in India. It was established in 1960. It is
headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal.
Dindigul lock and Kandangi
saree from Tamil Nadu have been given the Geographical Indication (GI)
Dindigul locks are made in an
area of 5 km in and around Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. The lock is world
famous for their superior quality and durability, and the Dindigul city is
often referred to as the “Lock City”.
The Kandangi sarees are
manufactured in the entire Karaikudi taluk in Sivaganga district of Tamil
Nadu. They are characterised by large contrast borders.
GI is an Intellectual
Property Right. It is a status accorded to a good which is unique to a
particular region or area, and is originated from there.
The GI tag in India is
governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and
Protection Act), 1999 and is administered by the Controller General of
Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, under the Ministry of Commerce and
Good in the categories of a)
Agricultural products (e.g. Nagpur Orange), b) foodstuffs (e.g. Joynagar
Moa), c) handicrafts (e.g. Agates of Cambay), d) textile (e.g. Kullu
Shawl), e) natural products (e.g. Makrana Marble) and f) manufactured
products (e.g. Kannauj Perfume) come under the ambit of GI Tags.
Darjeeling Tea is the
first good to receive a GI Tag in India.
Ministry of Housing and urban
Affairs has launched Angikaar Campaign. The campaign will officially be
rolled out in all cities with PMAY (U) on October 2, 2019
It has been launched for
social behaviour change, focusing on issues such as water & energy
conservation, waste management, health, tree plantation, sanitation and
The campaign will cover
beneficiaries of completed houses under PMAY (U). It will be implemented
through community mobilisation and Information Education Communication
For this purpose, the
campaign will converge with schemes and Missions of other Ministries
dealing with these subjects. The convergence would especially focus on
Ujjwala for gas connection and Ayushman Bharat for health insurance to the
beneficiaries of PMAY (U)
The Pradhan Mantri Awas
Yojana Urban (PMAY-U) aims to construct 1.2 crore houses and ensure
“Housing for All by 2022” by providing financial assistance to the
beneficiaries. It has four components: a) In-situ Slum Redevelopment
(ISSR), b) Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP), c) Beneficiary-led
Individual house construction or Enhancement (BLC), and d) Credit-Linked
Subsidy Scheme (CLSS).
Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) has been conferred
the prestigious SKOCH Governance Gold Award. DAY-NULM has been awarded for
its Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access (PAiSA)
PAiSA was launched in 2018.
It is a centralized IT platform which simplifies and streamlines release
of interest subvention under the Mission. It offers end to end online
solution for processing, payment, monitoring and tracking of interest
subvention claims from banks on a monthly basis.
DAY-NULM is a mission under
the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. It aims to reduce poverty and
vulnerability of the urban poor households by enabling them to access
gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities.
SKOCH Award, instituted in
2003, is the highest civilian honour in the country conferred by an
independent organisation. It recognises the best of efforts in the area of
digital, financial and social inclusion
The Union Environment
Ministry has transferred ₹47,436 crore to 27 States for afforestation.
These funds are part of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF).
The CAF comprises of the
money paid by developers who have cut down forest for construction and
other activities. The fund is used for afforestation and regeneration
activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest
The amount to be paid depends
on the economic value of the goods and services that the razed forest
would have provided. These include timber, bamboo, firewood, carbon
sequestration, soil conservation, water recharge, and seed dispersal.
This is in accordance to the
Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, which says that whenever a forest land is
to be diverted for non-forestry purposes, the equivalent non forest land
has to be identified for compensatory afforestation and funds for raising
compensatory afforestation are to be imposed.
The CAF Act 2016 established
an independent authority called the Compensatory Afforestation Fund
Management and Planning Authority to execute the fund. Earlier, ad hoc
National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority
was set up to manage the fund.
In 2018, Compensatory
Afforestation Fund (CAF) Rules were put forward. The rule had been
criticised on the grounds that it undermined several aspects of the Forest
Rights Act (FRA) and the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act
A draft Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC) report has warned that rising global ocean
waterline could displace 250 million people by 2100.
The report further noted that
there could be a hundred-fold or more increase in the damages caused by
It noted that cryosphere has
been damaged by man-made warming, with ice sheets shedding more than 400
billion tonnes in mass each year. The cryosphere is the frozen water part
of the Earth system.
Also, at least 30% of the
northern hemisphere’s surface permafrost could melt by end of 21stcentury
if global emissions remain unchecked.
The IPCC is an
intergovernmental body of the United Nations. It provides policymakers
with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications
and potential future risks. It also puts forward adaptation and mitigation
UK based, Economist
Intelligence Unit, has released Safe Cities Index 2019. It ranks 60
countries worldwide across five continents.
It measures the multi-faceted
nature of urban safety, with indicators categorised as digital,
infrastructure, health and personal security.
Tokyo ranked overall the
safest city followed by Singapore and Osaka.
Mumbai has been ranked as the
45th safest city. Delhi stood at 52nd position.
New Delhi and Mumbai have
both ranked 47th in terms of Digital Security; Mumbai ranked 50th, while
New Delhi ranked 51st in terms of Health Security; Mumbai ranked 50th,
while New Delhi ranked 57th in terms of Infrastructure Security; and in
Personal Security, Mumbai ranked 37th, while New Delhi ranked 41st.
Union HRD Minister has announced the setting up of the
Integrated National School Education Treasury(INSET).
INSET is envisaged as a fully integrated, instantly accessible
and seamless information network for all parameters relating to the
students, teachers and schools in the country.
The aim is to create an easily accessible multi-layered
ecosystem of information – school wise, block-wise, district-wise,
constituency-wise, state-wise and region-wise.
The main focus of INSET will be on the following areas
(a)Reinforcing and cleaning the data of the Integrated Online Junction
through feedback from Stakeholders (b)Ensuring full interoperability among
the websites, portals and applications which are already hosted in the
junction (c)Creating high quality e-contents, including quizzes and
puzzles to enhance learning and also for teachers in aiding classroom
transactions and (d)Using artificial intelligence and deep machine
learning in a variety of ways to enhance the quality of school education
including for designing evidence based inventions.
According to the annual report of the RBI,the lack of domestic
demand is holding back the animal spirits in the economy.
Animal spirit is a term used by the British economist,John
Maynard Keynes to describe how people arrive at financial decisions
including buying and selling securities in times of economic stress or
The report has said that the economic slowdown could be
cyclical in nature rather than a deep structural one.But there are some
crucial structural issues in land, labour, & agricultural marketing
that require urgent reforms.
The report has also emphasised on the need to revive
consumption demand and private investment during 2019-20.
This can be revived by (a)strengthening the banking and
non-banking sectors (b)big push for spending on infrastructure
(c)implementation of much needed structural reforms in the areas of labour
laws, taxation and (d)other legal reforms.
Further,the report has said that the Gross Non-Performing
Assets (GNPA) ratio of the banking system has declined to 9.1% in March
this year from 11.2% in the previous year which is a healthy sign for the
However,the report has said that non-banking financial
companies (NBFC) are under stress due to irrational exuberance and
considerable overleveraging with asset-liability mismatches.
Union Minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs)
has launched Tech Saksham.
The project is a collaboration between the Ministry of MSME and
Confederation of Indian Industry(CII).The project will bring together
technology majors to address technological gaps faced by MSMEs in their
The aim of the project is to bridge the gap in technology
adoption for MSMEs so as to provide an impetus for them to be competitive
on a global scale, increase their contribution to country exports and
leverage cost efficiencies.
It will be a three-year long comprehensive project.In its first
phase,the project would focus on MSMEs in sectors that are
labour-intensive and have the propensity to respond positively to
The platform would also help MSMEs to overcome challenges
through multiple policy recommendations, knowledge sessions, mentoring
initiatives among others.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched an
e-course on ‘Vulnerability Atlas of India’.
The objective of the course is to create awareness and
understanding about natural hazards and help in identification of regions
with high vulnerability such as earthquakes and landslides.
The course would be offered jointly by the School of Planning
and Architecture and Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council
The E-course would also be a tool for effective and efficient
disaster mitigation and management in the field of architecture, civil
engineering, urban and regional planning, housing and infrastructure
planning, construction engineering.
Pakistan has successfully test-fired surface-to-surface
ballistic missile called Ghaznavi.
Ghaznavi is a hypersonic surface-to-surface short-range
ballistic missile designed and developed by the National Development
The missile has an operational range of between 290-320 km.Its
first version has been in service with the Pakistan Army’s strategic
command since 2004.
The timing of the missile launch is seen as part of a
two-pronged effort (a) to internationalise the Kashmir issue at both
military and diplomatic levels and (b) to raise the spectre of nuclear war
between the two countries.
Indian Prime minister will be visiting Russia as the guest of
honour at Eastern Economic Forum(EEF).The bilateral summit will also be
held on the sidelines of the EEF.
During the bilateral summit,Russia is likely to offer India its
conventional submarines on the government-to-government route under the
Indian Navy’s Project-75I.
The Russian submarine will likely be based on the Amur 1650
conventional submarine modified to suit Indian requirements.
The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project
75 Kalvari-class submarines for the Indian Navy.
Under this project,the Indian Navy intends to acquire six
diesel-electric submarines which will feature advanced Air-independent
propulsion (AIP) systems to enable them to stay submerged for longer
duration and substantially increase their operational range.
China has passed a revised drug law.The revised drug law
removes drugs that are legal in foreign countries but not approved in
China from the category of fake medicines.
The revised law will also mean that residents who use the drugs
without official approval can be granted leniency if the amount of the
drug is small and will not be punished if the drug does not cause health
problems or delay in treatment.
This decision will also allow Chinese residents to access
effective and cheap generic drugs from India especially to treat ailments
However,the announcement did not mention how the medicines could
be procured as they are not available at pharmacies.
According to a 2011 World Bank report,lack of access to drugs
emerged as a burgeoning problem for the Chinese government as heart
disease, strokes and chronic lung disease accounted for 80% of the deaths.
Further,India has been demanding that China open its
pharmaceutical market to Indian drugs as part of the efforts to lower the
USD 57 billion trade deficit in about USD 95.5 billion total trade last
According to Reserve Bank of India’s annual report,the amount
involved in bank frauds has increased by 74% over the last one year.
Among the banks,the public sector banks(PSBs) have accounted
for the bulk of frauds at around 90% of total fraud amount.It was followed
by private sector banks and foreign banks.
The report said that most of these frauds were because of
cheating and forgery followed by misappropriation & criminal breach of
Another point of concern for RBI was that the banks took an
average of nearly 2 years to detect the frauds.
To curb this menace,the RBI has said that it would coordinate
with various agencies including the ministry of corporate affairs to
examine the feasibility of interlinking various databases and information
systems to improve the system of fraud monitoring and take necessary
corrective regulatory and supervisory action.
Union Minister for Science and Technology has inaugurated a
waste plastic to diesel plant in Dehradun.
The plant has been set up in CSIR- Indian Institute of
Petroleum (IIP) whose scientists will process waste plastics into fuel.The
technology has been developed under the GAIL’s sponsorship.
Using this plant,polyolefinic wastes which accounts for
approximately 70% of total plastics consumed can be converted to
automotive grade diesel through environmentally friendly process.
The plant has the capacity to produce 800-litre diesel from one
tonne of plastic.The fuel meets the specifications for use in vehicles.The
diesel will be made available to government,police and army vehicles for
According to Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) report,India
generates 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste everyday but 40% of it remains
The uncollected waste causes choking of drainage and river
systems, ingestion by stray animals, soil and water pollution and open air
burning leading to adverse impacts on human health and environment.