×

02 June, 2020

59 Min Read

Download PDF Of The Day
Paper Topics Subject
GS-I Nada yoga Art and Culture
All about Nisarga cyclone Human Geography
GS-II SPIC MACAY
GS-III Why Moody’s downgraded India’s rating, what the implications may be ? Economic Issues
PT Pointer CHAMPIONS portal Economic Issues
Ultra Swachh
Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951
Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi Scheme Economic Issues
Avifavir
Social stock exchange (SSE) Economic Issues
GS-I : Art and Culture
Nada yoga

Nada yoga

  • Nada yoga is an ancient Indian metaphysical system. It is equally a philosophical system, a medicine, and a form of yoga.
  • The system's theoretical and practical aspects are based on the premise that the entire cosmos and all that exists in the cosmos, including human beings, consists of vibrations, called n?da.
  • This concept holds that it is the energy of vibrations rather than of matter and particles which form the building blocks of the cosmos.
  • Nada yoga is also a reverential way to approach and respond to vibrations. In this context, silent vibrations of the self (anhata), sound and music (ahata) carry a spiritual weight more meaningful, respectively, than what sensory properties normally provide. Silent vibrations of the self (anhata) and Sound and music (ahata) are considered to play a potential medium/intermediary role to achieve a deeper unity with both the outer and inner cosmos.
  • Music has been used by most Indian saints as an important and powerful tool in the quest for the achievement of nirvana; notable names to be mentioned here include Kanakadasa, Thyagaraja, Kabir, Meerabai, Namdeo, Purandaradasa and Tukaram.
  • Naad is considered to be the basis of music and also as the basis of the energy in self.
  • Naad reaches its crescendo or Brahmnaad when we regulate our inner energy through yoga and music.
  • This is the reason that both music and yoga have the power of meditation and motivation, both are immense sources of energy, the Prime Minister added.
  • Prime Minister said, music has not only been a source of happiness, but also a means of service and a form of penance.
Print PDF

GS-I : Human Geography
All about Nisarga cyclone

All about Nisarga cyclone

  • In strength and intensity, this would be much weaker than Cyclone Amphan that struck on May 20.
  • In fact, it is not even a full-fledged cyclone right now, just a ‘depression’ that is likely to intensify into a ‘deep depression’ by Tuesday morning, and eventually into a cyclone, after which it would be called Nisarga.

Where is it headed?

  • It is headed towards the coastline of north Maharashtra and south Gujarat.
  • It is likely to hit the coastline on Wednesday, between Harihareshwar in Raigad district, just south of Mumbai, and Daman, just below Gujarat coast.
  • By that time, it is likely to evolve into a Severe Cyclonic Storm, which, roughly stated, is of strength 2 on a 1-to-5 of strength of cyclones that arise in the Indian Ocean.

What does that mean?

  • The strength of the cyclones are measured by the wind speeds they generate.
  • At its strongest, Nisarga would be associated with wind speeds in the range 95-105 km per hour.
  •  Amphan, on the other hand, was classified as a super-cyclone, of category 5, though it had weakened to category 4, ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’, ahead of its landfall, at which time the wind speeds were in excess of 180 kph.
  • Cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal side of the north Indian Ocean are more frequent and stonger than those on the Arabian Sea side.
  • Meteorologists suggest the relatively cold waters of the Arabian Sea discourage the kind of very strong cyclones that are formed on the Bay of Bengal side; Odisha and Andhra Pradesh face the brunt of these cyclones every year.
  • Last year, however, was slightly unusual as the Arabian Sea saw the most frequent and intense cyclonic activity in more than 100 years, according to India Meteorological Department.
  • Five cyclones originated in the area in 2019Vayu, Hikka, Kyarr, Maha and Pavan – when normally only one or two are formed.

So how big is the threat?

  • If the system does intensify into a cyclonic storm, some coastal districts of Maharashtra will come directly in line of its predicted path. Though the exact location of the landfall is still to be determined, it is likely to be close to Mumbai. Neighbouring Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are also likely to be affected, and heavy to very heavy rainfall is predicted in these areas until June 4.
  • The southwest monsoon has already made an onset over Kerala.
  • There is an associated depression lying parallel to the west coast which is intensifying and moving northwards along the coast.
  • Under such circumstances, the east-central and southeast regions of Arabian Sea are already experiencing rough weather conditions, which is likely to get intensified because of this cyclone.

So would Maharashtra get early monsoon rainfall?

  • No. The rainfall over the next three days in Maharashtra would not be due to the southwest monsoon, which is still to begin its northward movement from Kerala. Normally, monsoon arrives over Maharashtra after June 10.

 

Print PDF

GS-II :
SPIC MACAY

SPIC MACAY

  • SPICMACAY is a non-profit, voluntary, non-political and participatory student movement registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 .
  • People from all walks of life are welcome to join and contribute with their ideas, time, finance or any other resources.
  • The movement has a central executive body in New Delhi and organises its programmes through a worldwide network of schools, colleges and educational institutions.
  • SPIC MACAY is supported nationally by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the HRD Ministry.
  • SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth) is a non-political, nationwide, voluntary movement founded in 1977 by Dr Kiran Seth, Professor-Emeritus at IIT-Delhi who was awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ for his contribution to the arts in 2009.
  • SPICMACAY’s intention is to enrich the quality of formal education by increasing awareness about different aspects of Indian heritage and inspiring the young mind to imbibe the values embedded in it.
  • It seeks to inspire youth through experiencing the mysticism embodied in the rich and heterogeneous cultural tapestry of Indian and World Heritage, with a hope that the beauty, grace, values and wisdom embodied in these arts will influence their way of life and thinking and inspire one to become a better human being.
Print PDF

GS-III : Economic Issues
Why Moody’s downgraded India’s rating, what the implications may be ?

Why Moody’s downgraded India’s rating, what the implications may be ?

  • On Monday, Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) downgraded the Government of India’s foreign-currency and local-currency long-term issuer ratings to “Baa3” from “Baa2”.
  • It stated that the outlook remained “negative”.
  • The latest downgrade reduces India to the lowest investment grade of ratings and brings Moody’s — which is historically the most optimistic about India — ratings for the country in line with the other two main rating agencies in the world — Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch

What is the reason for this downgrade?

There are four main reasons why Moody’s has taken the decision.

1. Weak implementation of economic reforms since 2017

2. Relatively low economic growth over a sustained period

3. A significant deterioration in the fiscal position of governments (central and state)

4. And the rising stress in India’s financial sector

  • In November last year, Moody’s changed the outlook on India’s Baa2 rating to “negative” from “stable” precisely because these risks were increasing.
  • Since many of the apprehensions that it had in November 2019 have come through, Moody’s has downgraded the rating to “Baa3” from “Baa2”, while maintaining the negative outlook.

What does “negative” outlook mean?

  • The negative outlook reflects dominant, mutually-reinforcing, downside risks from deeper stresses in the economy and financial system that could lead to a more severe and prolonged erosion in fiscal strength than Moody’s currently projects.
  • In particular, Moody’s has highlighted persistent structural challenges to fast economic growth such as “weak infrastructure, rigidities in labor, land and product markets, and rising financial sector risks”.
  • In other words, a “negative” implies India could be rated down further.

Is the downgrade because of Covid-19 impact?

  • No. Moody’s was categorical that while this downgrade is taking place “in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was not driven by the impact of the pandemic”.

Then why did the downgrade happen?

  • More than two years ago, in November 2017, Moody’s had upgraded India’s rating to “Baa2” with a “stable” outlook.
  • At that time, it expected that “effective implementation of key reforms would strengthen the sovereign’s credit profile” through a gradual but persistent improvement in economic, institutional and fiscal strength.
  • But those hopes were belied.
  • The low effectiveness of policy and the resulting loss of growth momentum is evidenced in the sharp deceleration in India’s GDP growth rates.
  • The provisional estimates for 2019-20 were pegged at 4.2% — the lowest annual growth in a decade — and even these estimates are likely to be revised down further.
  • Poor growth has been made worse by worsening government (both Centre and state-level) finances.
  • Each year, the central government has failed to meet its fiscal deficit (essentially the total borrowings from the market) target. This has led to a steady accretion of total government debt.
  • Total government debt (measured as a percentage of GDP) is nothing but the debt till the last year and the fiscal deficit of the current year.
  • According to Moody’s, even before “the coronavirus outbreak, at an estimated 72% of GDP in fiscal 2019, India’s general government (combined central and state governments) debt burden was 30 percentage points larger than the Baa median”.
  • In other words, government debt was already quite high.
  • This already high number is expected to go up to 84% of the GDP just within 2020 — thanks to governments being forced to borrow even more, in a big part because their revenues are likely dry up as the economy contracts.

What will be the implications of this downgrade?

  • As explained above, ratings are based on the overall health of the economy and the state of government finances.
  • A rating downgrade means that bonds issued by the Indian governments are now “riskier” than before, because weaker economic growth and worsening fiscal health undermine a government’s ability to pay back.
  • Lower risk is better because it allows governments and companies of that country to raise debts at a lower rate of interest.
  • When India’s sovereign rating is downgraded, it becomes costlier for the Indian government as well as all Indian companies to raise funds because now the world sees such debt as a riskier proposition.

What is Moody’s outlook on economic growth, jobs and per capita income?

  • Moody’s expects India’s real GDP to contract by 4.0% in the current financial year. Thereafter it expects a sharp recovery in 2021-22.
  • But over the longer term, it states “growth rates are likely to be materially lower than in the past, due to persistent weak private sector investment, tepid job creation and an impaired financial system”.
Print PDF

GS-III : Economic Issues
CHAMPIONS portal

 

CHAMPIONS portal

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today launched the technology platform CHAMPIONS which stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.
  • As the name suggests,the portal is basically for making the smaller units big by solving their grievances, encouraging, supporting, helping and handholding.
  • It is a real one-stop-shop solution of MSME Ministry.
  • This ICT based system is set up to help the MSMEs in present difficult situation and also to handhold them to become national and international champions.

Detailed objectives of CHAMPIONS:

  1. Grievance Redressal: To resolve the problems of MSMEs including those of finance, raw materials, labor, regulatory permissions etc particularly in the Covid created difficult situation;
  2. To help them capture new opportunities:  including manufacturing of medical equipments and accessories like PPEs, masks, etc and supply them in National and International markets;
  3. To identify and encourage the sparks:  i.e. the potential MSMEs who are able to withstand the current situation and can become national and international champions.
  • It is a technology packed control room-cum-management information system.
  • In addition to ICT tools including telephone, internet and video conference, the system is enabled by Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Machine Learning.
  • It is also fully integrated on real time basis with GOI’s main grievances portal CPGRAMS and MSME Ministry’s own other web based mechanisms.
  • The entire ICT architecture is created in house with the help of NIC in no cost. Similarly, the physical infrastructure is created in one of ministry’s dumping rooms in a record time.
Print PDF

GS-III :
Ultra Swachh

Ultra Swachh

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a disinfection unit named Ultra Swachh to disinfect a wide range of materials, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), electronics items, fabrics, etc.
  • Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), the Delhi based laboratory of DRDO has developed this product with industry partner M/s Gel Craft Healthcare Private Ltd, Ghaziabad.
  • The system uses an advanced oxidative process comprising of multiple barrier disruption approach using Ozonated Space Technology for disinfection.
  • The system is double layered with specialised Ozone sealant technology assuring trapping of ozone for the necessary disinfection cycle.
  • It also has catalytic converter to ensure environment friendly exhaust i.e. only oxygen and water.
  • The system is in compliance with International Standards of Industrial, Occupational, Personal and Environmental Safety.
  • The Ultra Swachh comes in two variants namely Ozonated Space and Trinetra Technology.
  • Trinetra technology is the combination of Ozonated space and radical dispenser. Treatment is optimised with automation for quick disinfection cycle.
Print PDF

GS-II :
Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951

Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951

  • Election Commission of India announced elections to the Council of States to fill 55 seats of Members from 17 States, retiring in the month of April,2020.
  • Section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 specifies that the Election Commission for reasons which it considers sufficient, may extend the time for the completion of any election by making necessary amendments in the notification issued by it under section 30 or sub-section (1) of section 39 of the said Act.
  • Accordingly, considering the prevailing unforeseen situation of public health emergency due to COVID-19 and related advisories in the country, the Election Commission deferred the poll and extended the period of said election under the provisions of section 153 of the said Act and decided that the announcement of fresh date of poll and counting for the said biennial elections will be made by the ECI after reviewing the prevailing situation.

 

Print PDF

GS-III : Economic Issues
Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi Scheme

Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi Scheme

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched a micro-credit scheme for street vendors, which was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 14 as a part of the economic package for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi Scheme is aimed at benefiting over 50 lakh vendors who had their businesses operational on or before March 24.
  • The scheme is valid till March 2022.
  • The vendors will be able to apply for a working capital loan of up to ?10,000, which is repayable in monthly instalments within a year.
  • On timely/early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy of 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer on a six monthly basis.
  • There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan.
  • The Ministry said an online portal and mobile application were being developed to ensure speedy implementation of the scheme.
  • The loans would be without collateral.
  • The loans are meant to help kick-start activity for vendors who have been left without any income since the lockdown was implemented on March 25.
Print PDF

GS-III :
Avifavir

Avifavir

  • Russia will start giving its first drug approved to treat COVID-19 to patients next week, its state financial backer said, a move it hopes will ease strains on the health system.
  • Russian hospitals can begin giving the antiviral drug, which is registered under the name Avifavir, to patients from June 11.
  • Avifavir, known generically as favipiravir, was first developed in the late 1990s by a Japanese company later bought by Fujifilm as it moved into healthcare.
  • RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said Russian scientists had modified the drug to enhance it, and said Moscow would be ready to share the details of those modifications within two weeks.
  • Japan has been trialling the same drug, known there as Avigan.
  • It has won plaudits from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and $128 million in government funding, but has yet to be approved for use.
Print PDF

GS-III : Economic Issues
Social stock exchange (SSE)

Social stock exchange (SSE)

  • A working group constituted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on social stock exchanges has recommended allowing non-profit organisations to directly list on such platforms while allowing certain tax incentives to encourage participation on the platform.
  • The idea of a social stock exchange (SSE) for listing of social enterprise and voluntary organisations was mooted by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20.
  • According to a release issued by the capital markets regulator, the group has recommended allowing non-profit organisations to directly list through issuance of bonds while recommending a range of funding avenues, including some of the existing mechanisms such as Social Venture Funds (SVFs) under Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs).
  • There is a great opportunity to unlock funds from donors, philanthropic foundations and CSR spenders, in the form of zero coupon zero principal bonds. These bonds will be listed on the SSE.
  • The group has also suggested a new minimum reporting standard for organisations that raise funds on social stock exchanges.
  • The working group has also suggested that the social stock exchange can be housed within the existing national bourses like the BSE and the National Stock Exchange.
Print PDF

Newsletter Subscription
SMS Alerts