08 April, 2020 66 Min Read
|GS-I||Jainism||Art and Culture|
|GS-II||DigiLocker as National Academic Depository (NAD)||Good Governance|
|'5 T plan' to fight coronavirus crisis in Delhi||Governance|
|Cabinet approved 30% salary cut and MPLADS suspended||Governance|
|Restrictions on Court Hearings Lawful||Governance|
|GS-III||National Highways Development Programme (NHDP)-Bharatmala Pariyojana||Infrastructure|
|Fall in IHS Markit||Economy|
|Animals affected through COVID-19||Health|
|PT Pickups||World Health Day 2020||Health|
|RBI relaxed the norms of State/UT to avail overdraft||Economy|
|Money laundering||Internal security|
|Financial Intelligence Unit-India||Economy|
|Important GS Topics||Smart City Mission||Geography|
GS-I : Art and Culture
Jainism and Mahavir Jayanti
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I- Religion
Jai Hind Jai Bharat
GS-II : Good Governance
HRD Ministry has designated DigiLocker as National Academic Depository (NAD)
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-Governance
DigiLocker, an online document wallet has been designated as the sole National Academic Depository (NAD) by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) to enable educational institutions to store digital copies of academic awards, mark sheets and certificates on the cloud-based service.
Features of NAD
Stakeholders in NAD
Services being offered by the NAD
The NAD shall:
About Digilocker: It is an Aadhaar-based cloud-based locker in which users can store electronic versions of important documents like birth certificates, voters ID cards, University documents, PAN cards, and more. It was launched by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) in 2015.
Background: Before this, NDML (NSDL Database Management Limited) and CVL (CDSL Ventures Limited) acted as the NAD, for a period of 3 years. The agreement between UGC, NDML and CVL ended in November 2019.
Jai Hind Jai Bharat
'5 T plan' to fight coronavirus crisis in Delhi
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-Governance
A 'five T plan' - testing, tracing, treatment, team work, and tracking and monitoring, to tackle Covid-19.
Chief Minister said along with these steps, the government is well prepared in dealing with up to 30,000 active cases in the city. Explaining each T, he said corona test will be the first step, under which the government will go for mass random tests. "If there is no testing, how will we know who is infected and who is not? We will do mass tests for coronavius like South Korea did." He said South Korea identified every single patient through mass tests.
The next step will be tracing, after a person tested positive. "We will trace his/her movement. Their contacts will be asked for quarantine. Many people in Delhi were asked for self-quarantine.
The Delhi government will make arrangements in hospitals, hotels, and even banquet halls to quarantine/isolate the patients. "We will have 8,000 beds in hospitals, 12,000 hotel rooms and 10,000 rooms at banquet halls and guesthouses.... The most serious -- those already suffering from other disease and above the age of 50 --- will be kept in hospitals while others will be accommodated elsewhere," Not just rooms but the government will need more ventilators, oxygen and other equipment. "We have made the calculations and are ready." The PPE kits were a major issue but the Centre has helped in this regard. Also, the Delhi government has asked for the kits from some companies. "We will get the kits directly from companies from the next week."
The fourth T, he said, is teamwork. "No one can fight COVID-19 alone. All governments are working as a team. The people and government should also work as a team. Doctor and nurses are the most important part of the team." The opposition and ruling party are working together.
On the fifth T, tracking and monitoring, CM said he will personally track everything and ensure things fall in line. "I am personally monitoring the situation and the preparations. I am sure if we are well prepared, we will be able to win this fight against coronavirus."
Cabinet approved 30% salary cut and MPLADS suspended
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II-Governance
Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has approved an ordinance of 30% cut in the salaries of all Members of Parliament (MPs) for FY 20-21 and a two-year suspension (2020-21 and 2021-22) of the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme so that the amount saved can go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight COVID-19. The Union Cabinet has approved an ordinance to amend the Salaries, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954. The saved amount will go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
Restrictions on Court Hearings Lawful
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-II- Judiciary
Recently, the Supreme Court held that all restrictions imposed on people from entering, attending or taking part in court hearings are lawful in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Duty vs Discretion: The apex court invoked its extraordinary Constitutional powers under Article 142 to step away from the convention of open court hearings. It further clarified that use of this extraordinary power was not a matter of discretion but of duty.
ICT and Delivery of Justice
GS-III : Infrastructure
NHAI achieved record 3,979 km highways construction
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy Infrastructure
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has achieved the highest ever highway construction feat with an accomplishment of 3,979 km of national highways in the financial Year 2019-20.However, it has completed 88% of highway construction against the target of building 4,500 km highways in FY-20. In the FY 2018-19, NHAI constructed 3,380 km of National Highways.
Initiatives taken to accelerate the pace of highway construction:
-The government has initiated a highway development programme in 2015 namely Bharatmala Pariyojana, which includes development of about 65,000 km of NHs. Under Phase-I of the programme, the government has approved implementation of 34,800 km of national highways projects with an outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crore in a period of five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22.The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to develop 27,500 km of NHs under Phase-I.
-Apart from above, the government has also revived stalled projects, streamlined land acquisition and acquisition of a major portion of land prior to inviting bids.
-Disputes resolution mechanism was revamped to avoid delays in completion of projects.
National Highways Development Programme (NHDP)
National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) was launched in 1998 with the objective of developing roads of international standards which facilitate smooth flow of traffic. It envisages creation of roads with enhanced safety features, better riding surface, grade separator and other salient features. National Highways constitute only 2% of the total road length in the country but carry 40% of the total traffic.
NHDP is being implemented by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), an organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The programme is being implemented in the following seven phases;
Administrative control– Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
Chairman– Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu
The Government of India launched “Bharatmala Pariyojana”, a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. The project covering a whopping 34800 km of the road would be completed in a phased manner.
The Bharatmala Pariyojana was announced i, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India with an aim to improve the road network in the country. The budget for the scheme will be managed by the cess collected on petrol and diesel and the tax collected at toll booths, apart from the budgetary support provided by the Government.
The components of Bharatmala Pariyojana are
The Bharatmala project envisions to improve the efficiency of the National Corridor including the Golden-Quadrilateral and North, South –East West corridor by decongesting the choke points through the construction of elevated corridors, bypasses, ring roads, lane expansion and logistics parks at identified points.
The project plan includes the construction of Border Roads of strategic importance along international boundaries and International Connectivity roads to promote trade with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The programme has identified around 26,200 km of Economic Corridors or routes that have heavy freight traffic. The programme has planned to develop the identified Economic Corridors with heavy freight traffic, end to end to ensure seamless, speedy travel and uniformity in standards. Feeder Corridors will be developed so as to address the infrastructure asymmetry that exists in many places.
All projects implemented under Bharatmala are to be technically, financially and economically appraised by an empowered Project Appraisal &Technical Scrutiny Committee to be set up in National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
Features of Bharatmala Pariyojana
The scheme was initiated with an aim to improve road traffic and improve trade through road transportation. Some other key features of the Bharatmala Pariyojana include:
Highlights of Bharatmala Pariyojana
Challenges of Bharatmala Project
The Bharatmala project was announced in 2017 and was targetted to get completed by 2022. However, the latest reports suggest that the project currently is nowhere close to completion because of the increased land cost and the increase in the estimated budget for the project.
The Central Government is now looking in for more investments from funds collected from the market and any other private investment. If the estimated budget is not met, then the Government intends to auction completed highway projects or even look for foreign debts and bond markets.
The government will mobilize resources for Bharatmala through four different routes:
Of the total amount, Rs. 2 Lakh Crore are to be raised as debt from market borrowings, while Rs. 1 Lakh crore will be used from the accrued money in Central Road Fund and toll collections by NHAI.
This project will help in the economic growth of the country by increasing the corridors from 6 to 50. The Central Government, with the Bharatmala Project intent to increase trade, improve the condition of the National Highways and improve the network of roads in the country.
Source: TH/Gov Web
Fall in IHS Markit
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy Data
The IHS Markit India Services Business Activity Index (i.e Service Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)) was at 49.3 in March, down from February’s 85-month high of 57.5.
Purchasing Managers' Index
Index of Industrial Production
Difference between PMI and IIP
Animals affected through COVID-19
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III-Health
Owing to a recent news report on a Tiger being infected with Covid-19 in New York (Bronx Zoo), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued an advisory regarding the containing and management of Covid-19 in National Parks/Sanctuaries/Tiger Reserves.
Central Zoo Authority
National Tiger Conservation Authority
Pench Tiger Reserve
PT Pickups : Health
World Health Day 2020: April 7
World Health Day is observed annually on April 7, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), to spread about equal healthcare facilities worldwide, the importance of Health and Wellness and to kill myths around Health.
Theme of the year 2020: Support nurses and midwives.
The theme celebrates the work of nurses and midwives and reminds world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy.
i.The WHO designated 2020 as International Year of Nurse and Midwife in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale and this year highlights the current status of nursing around the world.
ii.On this day, WHO launched the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report 2020.
iii.WHO held the First World Health Assembly in 1948 and the Assembly decided to celebrate April 7 of each year, with effect from 1950, as the World Health Day.
International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda: April 7
The International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda is observed every year on April 7, since 2004 to commemorate the murder of more than 1 million people, majorly consist of Tutsi, Twa & moderate Hutu- group of African Great lakes region & others who opposed the genocide in Rwanda and also to reflect on the suffering of those who survived. This year marks its 26th anniversary.
i.The Tutsi were systematically killed in the space of 100 days, from April 7 to the middle of July 1994.
ii.The United Nations(UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution on December 23, 2003 to establish the International Reflection Day on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda on April 7 so as to remember the lost lives & reaffirm its commitment to initiatives to prevent all future atrocities.
iii.In January 2018, the General assembly adopted the resolution to amend the name of the day.
iv.Every year, on or around that date, the UN organizes events at its Headquarters(New York) and at UN offices around the world but this year it has been postponed due to COVID-19.
v.Rwanda has two public holidays- April 7 for Kwibuka (remembrance) & July 4 for liberation.
RBI relaxed the norms of State/UT to avail overdraft
On April 7, 2020 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to increase the number of days that a State/UT can continue to overdraft to 21 working days from the current stipulation of 14 working days as they are facing cash flow mismatches due to coronavirus.
i.In addition, the number of days that a State/UT can overdraft in a quarter has also been increased to 50 working days from the current stipulation of 36 working days, while all other stipulations remain unchanged.
ii.The new arrangement is effective immediately and is valid until September 30, 2020.
iii.It has also increased the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) limit by 30% from the existing limit (Rs 1.20 lakh crore) for all States/UTs which was effective from April 1, 2020 & is valid till September 30, 2020.
Round Tripping of Funds
Prevention of Money-Laundering Act
Financial Intelligence Unit-India
FIU-IND is a central, national agency responsible for receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions to enforcement agencies and foreign FIUs.
It was set up in 2004.
It is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.
Important GS Topics : Geography
Smart City Mission