9 PM Current Affairs Brief – December 6th, 2019

Odisha govt. scheme to merge with ‘PM-Kisan’ yojana

News: The Odisha government has decided to merge its KALIA Scheme with Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) yojana.

Facts:

About KALIA Scheme:

  • “Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation” (Kalia) scheme of Odisha is a direct cash transfer scheme for small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers.
  • It seeks to provide financial assistance of Rs.25, 000 per farm family over five seasons to small and marginal farmers so that farmers can purchase farm inputs use assistance towards labour and other investments.
  • Further, it seeks to provide a financial Assistance of Rs.12500 to each landless Agricultural Household for carrying out agricultural allied activities.

About PM KISAN Scheme:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India. It was announced in February 2019.
  • Under the Scheme an income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in three equal instalments of Rs.2000/- each every four months.
  • Definition of family for the Scheme is husband, wife and minor children. The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT Governments.
  • The fund is directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
  • The scheme is implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Framers Welfare.

‘Going Online as Leaders’ Programme

News: Ministry of Tribal Affairs has informed Rajya Sabha about ‘Going Online as Leaders’ Programme

Facts:

GOAL (Going Online as Leaders)

  • It is a digitally-enabled mentorship initiative of Facebook.
  • It seeks to empower tribal women to become leaders for tomorrow in the respective fields.
  • It was launched as a pilot project in March 2019 in 5 states of India i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra. Ministry of Tribal Affairs was not associated with the implantation of the pilot project.
  • The initiative connects underprivileged young women from tribal areas with senior expert mentors in the areas of business, fashion and arts to learn digital and life skills.

GOAL Second Phase:

  • The second phase of the program was launched in October 2019. In the second phase, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, NITI Aayog and Facebook together will digitally mentor 5000 young women in India’s tribal dominated districts.
  • It will include weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions, focused on a range of skills such as digital literacy, entrepreneurship and online safety. The tribal women will be trained via Facebook or WhatsApp on a fortnightly basis.

Committee to suggest necessary amendments in IPC, CrPC to curb mob lynching

News: Union Home Minister has said in Rajya Sabha that the government has set up a committee, under the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), to suggest necessary amendments in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to deal with mob lynching.

Facts:

Mob Lynching: Mob Lynching means killing of someone by a mob for an alleged offence without following any principles of jurisprudence or due process of law.

Instances of Mob Lynching in India:

  • According to a report from Human Rights Watch, 44 people were lynched in India between May 2015 and December 2018.
  • Examples:
  • September 2015-Mohammad Akhlaq was killed in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly killing a cow.
  • 2017- Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer killed by cow vigilantes in Alwar, Rajasthan
  • June 2018- Two men killed under suspicion of child trafficking in Karbianglong, Assam
  • June 2019- Tabrez Ansari was killed in Jharkhand.

Note: National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which compiles data on crime rates, does not maintain specific data on lynching incidents in India.

Legislation in India

  • There is no separate definition for mob lynching under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Lynching incidents can be dealt with under Section 300 and 302 of IPC.
  • Murder is defined in Section 300. The punishment for the murder is defined in Section 302. Section 302 provides that whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine. Offence of murder is a cognisable, non- bailable and non-compoundable offence.

Supreme Court Directions:

  • The Supreme Court in 2018 in the case of Tehseen S. Poonawalla vs. Union of India had recommended the central government to enact a legislation to create a separate offence for lynching.
  • The SC provided 11 directions, including preventive, remedial and punitive steps to combat mob lynching incidents.

Initiatives by States:

Manipur:

  • Manipur had passed Manipur Protection from MOB Violence Ordinance, 2018. It calls for rigorous life term imprisonment for those involved in mob violence, if the crime results in death of the victim.

West Bengal:

  • The West Bengal Assembly has passed the West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019
  • The bill proposes “rigorous imprisonment for life and fine not less than Rs 1 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh” in case of death of victim.
  • It also proposes a jail term of maximum of three years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh for those who create “a hostile environment for a person or a group of persons”.

Rajasthan:

  • The Rajasthan Assembly has passed Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019.
  • It provides for life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh to convicts in cases of mob lynching involving the victim’s death.

Uttar Pradesh:

  • State Law Commission in Uttar Pradesh has drafted the UP Combating of Mob Lynching Bill, 2019, and submitted it to Chief Minister.

Maharashtra:

  • Maharashtra Government has formulated a policy which provides compensation between ₹2 lakh to ₹3 lakh which could be increased to ₹10 lakh in special cases of lynching. It is in addition to the existing scheme for victims of communal violence who get ₹5 lakh as compensation.

Civil Society Initiatives:

  • ‘NOT IN MY NAME’ campaign: It was launched in 2017 to protest against the cow vigilantism.
  • National Campaign against Mob Lynching (NCAML):  It is also known as ‘Masuka’, short for Manav Suraksha Kanoon (law to protect humans). It seeks to make lynching a non-bailable offence.

Fifteenth Finance Commission submits report to President

News: The Fifteenth Finance Commission (FFC) has submitted its first report to President Ram Nath Kovind

Facts:

About Finance Commission

  • The Finance Commission is a constitutional body constituted by the President under Article 280 of the India Constitution. The Commission is appointed every five years.
  • The First Finance Commission was constituted in 1951 under the chairmanship of Shri K.C. Neogi.

Composition:

  • The Finance Commission has a chairman and four members appointed by the President.
  • The Chairman of the Commission is selected from among persons who have had experience in public affairs.
  • The four other members are selected from among persons who
    • are or have been or are qualified to be appointed as Judges of the High Court; or
    • have special knowledge of the finances and accounts of Government or
    • have had wide experience in financial matters and in administration or
    • Have special knowledge of economics.

Functions:

Finance Commission and its functions: The Finance Commission has the following functions or duties:

  • The Commission makes recommendations to the President of India on the distribution of tax proceeds between the Union and the States and the share of each state.
  • The Commission also decides the principles that govern the payment of grants-in-aid to states from the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • The President of India can also refer any other matter to the Finance Commission in the interest of building a sound financial system.

About 15th Finance Commission

  • The 15th Finance Commission was constituted by the President of India under the chairmanship of NK Singh.
  • The term of the commission was originally set to end in October 2019, but was extended by to November 30, 2019.
  • Its recommendations will cover a period of five years from April 2021 to March 2026.

Terms of Reference (ToR) of 15th Finance Commission

The Central government asked the 15th Finance Commission’s ToR to use the 2011 data for determining devolution of taxes, duties and grants-in-aid. The terms of reference for the 14th Finance Commission were to use the 1971 Census data

  • Review the current status of finance, deficit, debt levels, and cash balances and fiscal discipline efforts of the Union and the States.
  • Put forward a tax-devolution formula after examining the impact of 42% vertical devolution (as recommended by 14th FC) on the Union’s fiscal situation. The Commission has been asked to consider New India – 2022 Vision and government’s commitment to compensate states’ loss due to GST.
  • Examine whether revenue deficit grants be provided at all.
  • Recommend performance-based incentives to the states depending on various parameters such as efforts made in expansion of GST tax-net, Efforts made in achieving replacement level of population growth i.e. Total Fertility Rate 2.1 or lower, promoting digital economy, behavioural changes towards open defecation etc.
  • Review the present arrangements on financing Disaster Management initiatives, with reference to the funds constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (53 of 2005), and make appropriate recommendations thereon.

Additional Information:

New India – 2022 Vision

  • It envisages India free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism, casteism and uncleanliness and unite the entire country by adopting good governance and using technology.
  • The Prime Minister launched “Sankalp se Siddhi” (Attainment through Resolve) scheme, which aims at good governance. It is a five-year plan under which new India movement 2017-2022 is undertaken.
  • Under the New India 2022 Vision, the government has launched several schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Jan Suraksha Yojana, Ayushman Bharat etc.
  • The NITI Aayog has put forward National Strategy for New India @ 75, which defines clear objectives for 2022-23

Union Cabinet approves introduction of Personal Data Protection Bill in Parliament

News: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the introduction of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 in the Parliament.

Facts:

Background:

  • The bill has been prepared by a high-level expert committee headed by former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna. The Committee was constituted in 2017.

Key Features of the Bill:

Definition of personal Data: The bill defines ‘personal data’ as any information which renders an individual identifiable.

Sensitive Personal Data:

  • It classifies ‘sensitive personal data’ as those including passwords, financial data, health data, sex life, sexual orientation, biometric data, genetic data, transgender status, intersex status, caste or tribe, and religious or political belief or affiliation.
  • The bill states such sensitive personal data can be processed only with the explicit consent of the person. This consent needs to be informed, clear, and specific.

Data Processing:

  • Personal Data can be processed by both government and private entities incorporated in India, and entities incorporated overseas, if they systematically deal with data principals within the territory of India.
  • Data processing is allowed if consent is provided by the individual. In certain cases consent is not required. These include:
  • Any function of Parliament or state legislature, or if required by the State for providing benefits to the individual,
  • If required under law or for compliance with any court judgement,
  • To respond to a medical emergency, or a breakdown of public order,
  • Purposes related to employment, such as recruitment, or,
  • For reasonable purposes such as fraud detection, debt recovery, credit scoring, and whistle blowing.

Rights of Data Principal (whose data is being processed):

  • The right to obtain a summary of their personal data held with the data fiduciary (one who processes the data),
  • The right to seek correction of inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated personal data,
  • The right to have personal data transferred to any other data fiduciary in certain circumstance
  • Right to be forgotten: the right to restrict or prevent continuing disclosure of personal data.

Exemptions: Data principal will have not the rights defined under the bill if their data is processed for

  • National security
  • Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of contraventions to a law
  • Legal proceedings,
  • Personal or domestic purposes, and
  • Journalistic purposes.

Data Protection Authority: The Bill provides for the establishment of a Data Protection Authority (DPA) to supervise and regulate data fiduciaries.

BRICS remote Sensing Satellite Constellation

News: Space agencies of the BRICS group of nations have been negotiating a framework agreement to formalise the cooperation on building a ‘virtual constellation of remote-sensing satellites’.

Facts:

About BRICS remote Sensing Satellite Constellation

  • Background: The idea of BRICS remote Sensing Satellite Constellation was first mooted by China in 2015. Later, 1st BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Consultation Forum was held In Brazil in 2017.
  • Objectives:
  • To intensify cooperation among BRICS members and promote bilateral and multilateral relations.
  • To carry out resources sharing in order to improve the efficiency of satellite observations for the BRICS countries.
  • The constellation would be implemented in two phases:
  • Phase 1: Virtual Satellite Constellation: The purpose of the virtual constellation is to get access to satellite remote sensing data. This could be used by the individual BRICS nations for various applications including natural resources management and disaster management.
  • Phase 2: Real Satellite Constellation

About BRICS

  • BRICS is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies that have similar economic development. The five countries are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Brazil is the current chair of BRICS
  • Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC”. The acronym was first used in 2001 by economist Jim O’Neill.
  • In 2010, South Africa was officially admitted as a BRIC nation following an invitation from China and the other BRIC nations, making the current acronym BRICS.
  • The BRICS represents 43% of the world’s population, 30% of gross domestic product and 17% of global trade.
  • Currently, only Brazil, Russia, India and China have remote-sensing satellites in the sun-synchronous orbit. South Africa does not have a satellite of its own.

India suffered maximum number of climate-related fatalities in 2018

News: Non-profit organization Germanwatch released the Global Climate Risk 2020 report at UNFCC CoP 25 at Madrid, Spain.

Facts:

About Global Climate Risk Index:

  • The Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) developed by Germanwatch analyses quantified impacts of extreme weather events.
  • It analyses the impact both in terms of fatalities as well as economic losses that occurred. The analysis is based on data from the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE.
  • For Global Climate Risk Index 2020, data available from 1999 to 2018 were taken into account.

Key Takeaways from Global Climate Risk Index 2020

  • Japan, the Philippines and Germany are at the top for overall climate vulnerability in 2018. India has been ranked fifth.
  • Between 1999 and 2018, Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the countries most affected by extreme weather events.
  • India suffered the maximum number of deaths (2,081) from climate-triggered extreme weather events in 2018.
  • India was second in terms of economic losses in 2018.

India set to make modest recovery on reforms: OECD

News:The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) has released its Economic Survey of India report.

Facts:

Report on GDP growth:

  • The report has projected GDP growth in the current fiscal (2019-20) at 5.8% lower than 6.8 per cent in 2018-19. 
  • However, it estimated the GDP to grow at 6.2% during 2020-21 and further to 6.4% during 2021-22.

Key Highlights from the report:

  • Income has increased fast in recent years but private investment has lagged behind.However,the private investment would bounce back as capacity utilisation rises.
  • The recent loosening in monetary policy, combined with fiscal rectitude, will lower the cost of borrowing for the corporate sector.
  • The ongoing resolution of distressed assets of non-financial corporates under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is expected to unlock resources for new investment projects.
  • Reforms to improve the ease of doing business including recent measures to liberalise FDI and efforts to improve judicial services and contract enforcement will also help. 
  • Exports will suffer only marginally from the withdrawal of US preferential duties for low-income countries as the products concerned account for a small share of India’s export basket.

Concerns Highlighted by the report:

  • Economic growth has been strong but social and governance challenges remain.
  • The public debt-to-GDP ratio remains relatively high
  • Ambitious reforms have been passed but implementing them fully would boost incomes and wellbeing.
  • Addressing domestic structural bottlenecks is key to supporting India’s competitiveness
  • Air pollution is high and will increase in the absence of bold action.
  • international oil prices have come down but they remain volatile and pose risks for inflation,the current account and public finances.

Additional information:

About OECD:

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries
  • It was founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.It is headquartered in Paris,France.
  • It works to build better policies for better lives.Its goal is also to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all.
  • India is not a member of OECD but has been a key economic partner.

RBI lays down guidelines for payments banks’ SFB licence

News:The Reserve Bank of India has released final Guidelines for the ‘on tap’ Licencing for Small Finance Banks(SFBs).

Facts:

About the Guidelines for ‘on-tap’ Licencing:

  • The minimum paid-up voting equity capital / capital requirement shall be Rs 200 crores.
  • For Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), who voluntarily wants to transition into SFBs initial requirement of net worth shall be at ₹ 100 crores which will have to be increased to ₹ 200 crores within 5 years from the date of commencement of business.
  • The payment banks can also apply for conversion into Small Finance Banks(SFBs) after 5 years of operations if they are otherwise eligible as per these guidelines.
  • Small Finance Banks(SFBs) will also be given scheduled bank status immediately upon commencement of operations.Also,SFBs will have general permission to open banking outlets from the date of commencement of operations.
  • The listing of Small Finance Banks(SFB) will be made mandatory within three years after it reaches the net worth of Rs 500 crore for the first time.

Additional information:

About Small finance Bank:

  • Small finance Banks are niche banks that focus and serve the needs of a certain demographic segment of the population.
  • They primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and underserved sections including small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.

Functions of Small finance Banks:

  • Take small deposits and disburse loans.
  • Distribute mutual funds, insurance products and other simple third-party financial products.
  • Lend 75% of their total adjusted net bank credit to priority sector.
  • Maximum loan size would be 10% of capital funds to single borrower, 15% to a group.
  • Minimum 50% of loans should be up to 25 lakhs.

Guidelines for Small finance Banks:

  • Individuals/professions with 10 years of experience in finance, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), microfinance companies, local area banks are eligible to set up SFBs.
  • The minimum paid-up equity capital for small finance banks shall be Rs. 100 crore.
  • Promoter must contribute minimum 40% equity capital and should be brought down to 30% in 10 years.
  • The fundamental requirement is that it must have 25% of its branches set up in unbanked areas.
  • Capital adequacy ratio should be 15% of risk weighted assets, Tier-I should be 7.5%.
  • Foreign shareholding capped at 74% of paid capital, FPIs cannot hold more than 24%.

Difference between Small finance Banks and Payment Banks:

Explained: Why the RBI refused to cut interest rates

News:The Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 5.15% in its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement.

Facts:

Issues before RBI:

  • The RBI’s most important mandate is to maintain price stability which means RBI is required by law to maintain retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index(CPI) at the 4% level (with a band of variation of 2 percentage points).
  • However,another key concern for the RBI is the overall economic growth in the economy.
  • Usually,retail inflation and economic growth tends to rise and fall at the same time because higher growth implies higher demand for goods and as such a spike in prices.
  • However, at the current juncture in the Indian economy,economic growth has decelerated sharply even as inflation has sped up.
  • Hence,the challenge before the RBI was to balance the concerns of boosting growth while making sure that inflation does not spiral out of control.

Reasons for not reducing the repo rate:

  • Firstly,the RBI is worried about the rise in inflation which is the primary issue that the RBI is mandated to control.
  • Secondly,the RBI has already cut repo rates by 135 bps.But only about 44 bps have been passed on to the consumers of new loans.Hence,the RBI believes that with more time, the monetary transmission will deepen.
  • Thirdly,the RBI has pointed towards the forthcoming Union Budget for fiscal efforts to boost growth.

RBI’s forecast for economic growth and inflation:

  • RBI has lowered its real GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 to 5% from 6.1%.
  • It has increased the CPI inflation projection to 5.1-4.7% for the second half of the current fiscal year and and 4.0-3.8% for the first half of the next fiscal year 2020-21.
  • However,it has said that the inflation is rising in the near-term but it is likely to moderate below target by the second half of 2020-21.

Additional information:

About Repo rate:

  • Repo stands for ‘Repurchasing Option’.It refers to the rate at which commercial banks borrow money from the RBI.It is one of the main tools of RBI to keep inflation under control.

About Monetary Policy Committee(MPC):

  • The Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) is a committee of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The MPC is made up of six members with three nominated by the Union government and three representing the RBI.
  • The MPC is mandated by law to ensure that retail inflation stays within a band of two percentage points of the target inflation rate of 4%.

IAF may get ‘No Escape’ Meteor missiles in May 

News:India has requested for an early delivery of Meteor air-to-air missiles from France.

Facts:

About Meteor missile:

  • Meteor is an active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM).
  • The missile has a strike range of 150 km and no escape zone of 60 km. The no escape zone of this missile is the largest in the world according to its manufacturers.
  • These missiles are to be attached to the Rafale jets.However,due to increasing tensions between India and Pakistan,India is requesting for an early delivery.
  • The Meteor missile has a delivery range to take over all the other air forces in the region, including China.
  • These missiles will also provide India the power to take on US supplied AMRAAM missiles possessed by the Pakistan Air Force.

Additional information:

About No-Escape Zone:

  • The No-Escape Zone is the zone within which there is a high (defined) kill probability against a target even if it has been alerted. 
  • This zone is defined as a conical shape with the tip at the missile launch.

Operation Chammal:

  • France has also proposed a visit by the Indian Air force(IAF) to the Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates where French Air Force Rafale jets stationed in support of Operation Chammal.
  • Operation Chammal is a French Military operation in Syria and Iraq to contain the expansion of Islamic State. 
  • The name of the operation comes from the north westerly wind that blows over Persian Gulf and Iraq.

Explained:How CO2 emission trend reflects India slowdown

News:The Global Carbon Budget 2019 has been released for the year 2019.

Facts:

About Global Carbon Project:

  • The Global Carbon Project is a Global Research Project of Future Earth and a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme.It was established in 2001.
  • The project seeks to work with the international science community to establish a common and mutually agreed knowledge base to support policy debate and action to slow down and ultimately stop the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • The project publishes two reports namely the Global Carbon Budget and Global Carbon Atlas.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • In 2018,the global carbon dioxide emissions were dominated by emissions from China (28%), the USA (15%), the EU ( 9%) and India (7%).
  • About 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions were attributable to coal use, 34% from oil, 20% from natural gas, and the remaining 6% from cement production and other sources.
  • The growth in global carbon dioxide emissions is likely to come down to just 0.6% in 2019 when compared to about 2% in 2018.
  • The slowdown can be attributed to declines in coal use in the U.S. and much of Europe and lower-than-expected growth from other key coal consumers this year.

Report on India:

  • The report has said that India’s emissions in 2019 was likely to be only 1.8% higher than in 2018.This is significantly lower than the 8% growth that India showed in 2018.
  • The lower growth in CO2 emissions is due to slowdown in Economic growth which has been consistently weakening leading to reduction in activities that cause emissions.

Curtain Raiser:Exercise INDRA 2019

News:India and Russia will be conducting the Exercise INDRA 2019 in India from 10 December simultaneously at Babina (near Jhansi), Pune, and Goa.

Facts:

About Exercise Indra:

  • ExerciseIndra is a joint tri-services exercise comprising Army, Air Force and Navy of India and Russia.
  • The exercise began in the year 2003 and the first joint tri services exercise was conducted in 2017.
  • The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct to enhance interoperability in the peacekeeping and enforcement environment under the aegis of the United Nations.
  • The exercise consists of tactical operations end drills such as handling and neutralisation of Improvised Explosive Devices, prevention of arms smuggling through the sea route and anti-piracy measures among others.

Additional information:

Other exercises between India and Russia:

Exercise Avia Indra:

  • Exercise Aviaindra is an Air Force level exercise between India and Russia. 
  • It was conducted for the first time in 2014 and since then it is conducted bi-annually (twice a year) in both countries. 
  • The aim of this exercise is focused towards anti-terrorist operations in bilateral scenario.

About Exercise TSENTR:

  • Exercise TSENTR is part of the annual series of large scale exercises that form part of the Russian Armed Forces annual training cycle.
  • The series rotates through the four main Russian operational strategic commands namely (a)Vostok (East) (b)Zapad (West) (c)TSENTR (Centre) and (d)Kavkaz (South).
  • The exercise in 2019 saw the participation of military contingents from China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan also taking part in the event.
  • The exercise aims at evolving drills of the participating armies and practicing them in the fight against the scourge of international terrorism thereby ensuring military security in the strategic central Asian region.

Davi Kopenawa wins Right to Livelihood award

News:Yanomami shaman Davi Kopenawa also known as the Dalai Lama of the Rainforest has received the Right Livelihood Award.

Facts:

About Right Livelihood award:

  • The Right Livelihood Award was created in 1980 by Swedish-German philatelist Jakob von Uexkull.The award is also known as the alternative Nobel Prize.
  • The award honours courageous people and organisations offering solutions to the root causes of global problems that the prize founder felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.
  • The purpose of the award is to promote scientific research, education which (a)contribute to a global ecological balance (b)eliminate material and spiritual poverty and (c)contribute to lasting peace and justice in the world.
  • Unlike most other international prizes,the Right Livelihood Award has no categories.
  • The award is presented annually in Stockholm,Sweden.It is usually shared by four Recipients but may vary from year-to-year. 

Additional information:

About Yanomami Tribe

  • The Yanomami are the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. They live in large circular and communal houses called Yanos or Shabonos.
  • They live in the rainforests and mountainous regions of Northern Brazil and Southern Venezuela.

India’s forex reserves cross $450 billion for the first time

News:India’s foreign exchange reserves have crossed the $450-billion mark for the first time.

Facts:

Why has the reserves increased?

  • The foreign exchange reserves have increased due to strong inflows which enabled the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) to buy dollars from the market.

About Foreign exchange reserves:

  • Foreign exchange reserves are the foreign currencies held by a country’s central bank.They are also called foreign currency reserves or foreign reserve.

Purpose of Foreign exchange reserves:

  • The foreign exchange reserves are held to back liabilities and influence monetary policy.
  • They are also held to ensure that a central government agency has backup funds if their national currency rapidly devalues or becomes altogether insolvent.
  • The critical function of the reserves is also to maintain liquidity in case of an economic crisis.
  • The reserves are always needed to make sure a country will meet its external obligations.These include international payment obligations, including sovereign and commercial debts.
  • They are also held to assure foreign investors that it’s ready to take action to protect their investments.

Components of Foreign exchange reserves:The Foreign exchange reserves of India consists of four categories which are 

  • Foreign Currency Assets:This is the largest component of the Forex Reserves consisting of US dollar and other major non-US global currencies.
  • Gold:Gold reserves is the gold held by the Reserve Bank of India with the intention to serve as a guarantee to redeem promises to pay depositors, note holders or trading peers or to secure a currency.
  • Special Drawing Rights(SDRs):The Special drawing rights(SDR) is an international reserve asset created by the IMF in 1969 to supplement its member countries official reserves.The SDR is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF.
  • The SDR basket Includes five currencies namely the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.
  • Reserve Tranche Position:Areserve tranche is a portion of the required quota of currency each member country must provide to the International Monetary Fund(IMF) that can be withdrawn at any time without any interest during critical situations of a country.
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