Indian Current Affairs | Current Affairs India - August 2011


Ozone Layer Hole 
As per the scientific studies, it is expected that the ozone layer will be fully recovered to the pre-1980 level by 2050. Although, the production and consumption of major Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) responsible for depletion of ozone layer have already been phased-out, still some of these chemicals which were released globally earlier are still active in the stratosphere because of their long atmospheric life, thus this necessitates some time for complete recovery of the ozone layer. The size of Antarctic ozone layer hole measured in October 2010 was 22.2 million square kilometer, while the size reported in 2009 and 2008 were 24 million square kilometer and 27 million square kilometer respectively. This clearly indicates that the global efforts made including by India through the Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer are in the right direction and the Ozone Layer is on the path of recovery. 

Continue reading..

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act | MGNREGA


The objective of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 is to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. This act was introduced with an aim of improving the purchasing power of the rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled work to people living in rural India, whether or not they are below the poverty line. Around one-third of the stipulated work force is women. The law was initially called the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) but was renamed on 2 October 2009

Continue reading..

GST in India | Goods and Service Tax in India


Goods and Service Tax (GST) is going to be the biggest taxation reform in India and it is all set to integrate central and state economies and boost overall growth. GST will create a single, unified Indian market to make the economy stronger. The implementation of GST will lead to the abolition of other taxes such as octroi, Central Sales Tax, State-level sales tax, entry tax, stamp duty, telecom licence fees, turnover tax, tax on consumption or sale of electricity, taxes on transportation of goods and services, thus avoiding multiple layers of taxation that currently exist in India.GST is expected to rollout in April 1st 2012.

Continue reading..

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development | NABARD


NABARD is set up as an apex Development Bank with a mandate for facilitating credit flow for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts. It also has the mandate to support all other allied economic activities in rural areas, promote integrated and sustainable rural development and secure prosperity of rural areas. In discharging its role as a facilitator for rural prosperity

Continue reading..

Macro Management of Agriculture Scheme


The Macro Management of Agriculture Scheme is one of the centrally-sponsored schemes formulated with the objective to ensure that central assistance is spent on focused and specific interventions for the development of agriculture in states. It became operational in 2000-01 in all states and UTs. The scheme provides sufficient flexibility to the states to develop and pursue the programmes on the basis of their regional priorities. Thus, the states have been given a free hand to finalise their sector-wise allocation as per requirements of their developmental priorities.

Continue reading..

Consolidated Fund of India | Public accounts of India | Contingency Fund of India


Article 266 of Indian Constitution talks about the Consolidated Funds and public accounts of India and of the States. Article 267 talks about the Contingency Fund of India. The entire money of India flows through these three channels

Consolidated Fund of India
All revenues received by Government by way of taxation like income-tax, central excise, custom, land revenue (tax revenues) and other receipts flowing to Government in connection with the conduct of Government business like receipts from Railways, Posts, Transport etc. (non-tax revenues) are credited into the Consolidated Fund. Similarly, all loans raised by Government by issue of Public notifications, treasury bills (internal debt) and loans obtained from foreign governments and international monetary institutions (external debt) and all moneys received by Government in repayment of loans and interest thereon are also credited into this Fund. All expenditure incurred by the Government for the conduct of its business including repayment of internal and external debt and release of loans to States/Union Territory Governments for various purposes is debited against this Fund.

Continue reading..

Rainfed Area Development Programme | Guidelines for rainfed area development programme


In India rainfed agro-ecologies contribute 60% of the net sown area, 100% of the forest, 66% of the livestock and provide livelihood, income, employment and environmental security. Rainfed areas are complex, diverse, fragile, under-invested, risky, ethno-economically unique and distress prone. Planning Commission, in its working group report has proposed to develop all the waste land / rainfed areas (88.5 million ha.) in a period of 20 years (i.e. upto XIII Five Year Plan) at a cost of Rs.72750 crore with peoples’ participation.The activities undertaken in this programme include soil and moisture conservation measures like construction of check dams, water harvesting structures, desilting of village ponds, treatment of drainage lines/ gullies, land leveling, bunding of farms, treatment of problem soils, agro-forestry, agri- horticulture,silvi-pasture, organic farming, use of bio-fertilizers, value addition and marketing of produce through farmers groups, training & capacity building of staff & beneficiaries etc. 

Continue reading..

Environmental News : August 2011


India third biggest greenhouse gas emitter: Government. 
India is the third biggest greenhouse gas emitter with its contribution standing at 5.3 per cent behind countries like China and the USA, the Government said in Lok Sabha. "As per current information available, the countries which are the largest contributor, in percentage term regarding greenhouse gas emissions are China 19.5 per cent, USA 19.2 per cent, India 5.3 per cent, Russia 5.1 per cent, Japan 3.6 per cent and Germany 2.6 per cent," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said. 

Continue reading..

Nominal Per Capita Income of India | PPP Per Capita Income of India


The GDP per capita is obtained by dividing the country’s gross domestic product, adjusted by inflation, by the total population. The PPP GDP per capita is obtained by dividing the country’s gross domestic product, adjusted by purchasing power parity, by the total population.Using a PPP basis is arguably more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just exchange rates which may distort the real differences in income. However, economies do self-adjust to currency changes over time, and technology intensive and luxury goods, raw materials and energy prices are mostly unaffected by difference in currency.

Continue reading..

GDP of India | Gross domestic product of India


Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given period. The factors of production can be owned by anyone -citizens or foreigners
Gross Domestic Product of India
India Gross Domestic Product is worth 1729 billion dollars or 2.79% of the world economy, according to the World Bank. Historically, from 1960 until 2010, India's average Gross Domestic Product was 339.84 billion dollars reaching an historical high of 1729.01 billion dollars in December of 2010 and a record low of 36.61 billion dollars in December of 1960. India's diverse economy encompasses traditional village farming, modern agriculture, handicrafts, a wide range of modern industries, and a multitude of services. Services are the major source of economic growth, accounting for more than half of India's output with less than one third of its labor force. The economy has posted an average growth rate of more than 7% in the decade since 1997, reducing poverty by about 10 percentage points.By nominal GDP, India has the world’s 10th largest economy valued at $1.704 trillion.India has a GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) of $4.046 trillion,making it fourth among the world nations.

Continue reading..

What is the GDP Growth Rate? | Indian GDP Growth Rate

GDP Growth Rate is the percentage increase or decrease of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) compared to the previous quarter or year. When the economy is expanding, the GDP growth rate is positive. However, in a recession, the economy contracts and the GDP growth rate is negative.
India GDP Annual Growth Rate
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in India expanded 7.80 percent in the first quarter of 2011 over the same quarter, previous year. Historically, from 2004 until 2011, India's average annual GDP Growth was 8.45 percent reaching an historical high of 10.10 percent in September of 2006 and a record low of 5.50 percent in December of 2004.

Continue reading..

Indian Current Affairs | Current Affairs India - August 2011


Multi-pronged approach underway for easy wage payments to MGNREGA workers
Wage disbursement to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, MGNREGA workers through Banks and Post Office accounts has been made mandatory to ensure proper disbursement of wages. Moreover, the State Governments have been advised to make use of Information and Communication Technology, ICT enabled models like Business Correspondent, Rural ATM, handheld devices, smart cards, bio-metrics and mobile banking for easy wage payments to MGNREGA workers. He also informed that disbursement of wages shall be made on weekly basis or in any case not later than a fortnight after the date on which such work was done.

Continue reading..

National Policy on Senior Citizens 2011, India


The National Policy on Older Persons was announced by the Government of India in the year 1999. It was a step in the right direction in pursuance of the UN General Assembly Resolution to observe 1999 as International Year of Older Persons and in keeping with the assurances to older persons contained in the Constitution. The well-being of senior citizens is mandated in the Constitution of India under Article 41. “The state shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to public assistance in cases of old age”. The Right to Equality is guaranteed by the Constitution as a fundamental right. Social security is the concurrent responsibility of the central and state governments.

Continue reading..

What is shale gas | Shale gas in India | Shale gas exploration in India


Shale gas refers to natural gas that is trapped within shale formations. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas. It is the new focus area in the U.S., Canada and China as an alternative to conventional oil and gas for meeting growing energy needs. Shale gas is one of the predominant unconventional natural gas and major source of onland gas particularly in the US and Canada. In US, shale gas production contributes to nearly 17 per cent of the total gas production. In January 2011, ONGC found initial gas-in-place estimate of 300-2,100 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of Indian shale gas basins (300 times higher than Reliance’s Krishna Godavari D6).

Continue reading..

National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS)| Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojana (RKBY)


NAIS is fully funded by the Central Government. 50% of the premium amount is paid by Central goverment for Small (A cultivator with a land holding of 2 hectare or less (5 acres).) and marginal farmers (A cultivator with a land holding of 1 hectare or less (2.5 acres).). The scheme is implemented at district level. The NAIS scheme, which is currently under operation in 25 states and 2 Union Territories, is being implemented in the country since the 1999-2000 Rabi crop year. The implementation is done by Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AIC).

Continue reading..

Foreign Relations | India-Israel Relationships


There has been a steady strengthening of India's relationship with Israel ever since India established full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, despite Indian attempts to keep this flourishing bilateral relationship out of public view. This bilateral relationship assumed an altogether new dynamic and came under full public scrutiny with the visit of Ariel Sharon to India in September 2003, the first ever by a ruling Israeli prime minister. The excitement surrounding this visit and the future prospects of Indo-Israeli relationship signaled the sea change in relations between the two states. In sharp contrast to the back-channel security ties that existed even before the normalization of bilateral relations, India now seems more willing to openly carve out a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship with Israel, including deepening military ties and countering the threat posed by terrorism to the two societies.

Continue reading..

Central Vigilance Commission of India | Functions and Setup


Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex Indian governmental body created in 1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam to address governmental corruption and to to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance. It has the status of an autonomous body, free of control from any executive authority, charged with monitoring all vigilance activity under the Central Government of India, and advising various authorities in central Government organizations in planning, executing, reviewing and reforming their vigilance work.

Continue reading..

National Pension Scheme | NPS Lite Scheme | Swavalamban Yojana


National Pension System (NPS) is an initiative of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the apex body established by Government of India to regulate and develop the pension sector in India. NPS has been extended to all citizens of India with effect from 1st May 2009. To extend the coverage of NPS to the weaker and economically disadvantaged sections of the society with their limited investment potential, PFRDA has launched NPS- Lite which specifically targets the marginal investors and promotes small savings during their productive life. It aims at building up a corpus sufficient enough to buy an annuity for their old age. 

Continue reading..

CBI | Central Bureau of Investigation | Functions and Setup


During the period of World War II, a Special Police Establishment (SPE) was constituted in 1941 in the Department of War of the British India to enquire into allegations of bribery and corruption in the war related procurements. Later on it was formalized as an agency of the Government of India to investigate into allegations of corruption in various wings of the Government of India by enacting the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 . In 1963, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was established by the Government of India with a view to investigate serious crimes related to Defence of India, corruption in high places, serious fraud, cheating and embezzlement and social crime, particularly of hoarding, black-marketing and profiteering in essential commodities, having all-India and inter-state ramifications. CBI derives its legal powers to investigate crime from the DSPE Act, 1946. 

Continue reading..

India's Anti Corruption Initiatives


Legislation: The Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and its 2008 amendment is a specialised law aimed at curbing corruption in India. It criminalises corruption in the public and private sector in the form of attempted corruption, active and passive bribery, extortion, bribery of foreign public officials, abuse of office, and money laundering. Public servants' involvement in private sector activities is also restricted by law. Moreover, a Prevention of Money Laundering Act has been in force since 2002.The Right to Information Act (RTI Act), which took effect in October 2005, has played a central role in the fight against corruption in India. According to the RTI Act, citizens have the right to access government documents within 30 days from the filing of the request. Thereby, a mechanism of control of public spending has been granted to ordinary citizens. Some commentators are enthusiastic about the effects of the RTI Act, while others point at the difficulty citizens from rural areas have to make full use of the law and to the need of making citizens and public servants more aware of the RTI Act. For example, among others, Reuters has pointed out in a July 2010 article that the RTI Act measure has largely failed to reach the country's poor. Read more about the RTI Act and different views about its implementation on the Transparency Reviews regularly published by the Centre for Media Studies. India signed the UN Convention against Corruption in 2003, and after continuous delays it was finally ratified May 2011.

Continue reading..

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India



India has nearly 6.5% of the world's known wildlife species, and is one of the mega diverse countries of the world. The global demand for wildlife and its products puts at risk the mega diversity of the country. The changing market dynamics and the lifestyles make the existing regulatory regimes inadequate in dealing with the wildlife crimes assuming organized status. It calls for coordinated actions in combating the wildlife related crimes including building capacity for scientific and professional investigation along with other measures.

Continue reading..

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana | National Agriculture Development Programme


Economic reforms initiated since 1991 have put the Indian economy on a higher growth trajectory. Annual growth rate in the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has accelerated from below 6 per cent during the initial years of reforms to more than 8 per cent in recent years. The Planning Commission in its approach paper to the Eleventh Five-Year-plan has stated that 9 per cent growth rate in GDP would be feasible during the Eleventh Plan period. However, Agriculture, that accounted for more than 30 per cent of total GDP at the beginning of reforms, failed to maintain its pre-reform growth. On the contrary, it witnessed a sharp deceleration in growth after the mid-1990s. This happened despite the fact that agricultural productivity in most of the states was quite low as it were, and the potential for the growth of agriculture was high.

Continue reading..

What is CBDT - Central Board of Direct Taxes


The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. On one hand, CBDT provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India,at the same time it is also responsible for administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department.
It is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. The officials of the Board in their ex-officio capacity also function as a Division of the Ministry dealing with matters relating to levy and collection of direct taxes.

Continue reading..

Dear Prime Minister, Please act now!!


On our 64th Independence day I was not in a mood to post at least a "happy independence day" through my social networking page and was anxiously waiting for the next morning to see how Congress is going to handle team Anna’s "Second Freedom Struggle movement". To my surprise Congress did the most stupid action it has taken in the last eight years - It arrested a Gandhian who tried to fast peacefully for a noble cause.

Dear Prime Minister, did your team ever pre-visualise the events that are going to happen after the detention of Anna Hazare?. I firmly believe that you are not the one who mooted that irrational decision and as usual, your voice might have over taken by the powerful circle surrounding you. And today in Parliament you blamed Delhi Police as if the Congress leadership do not know anything about the whole plan. I still remember another excuse you said about the inclusion of Prime Minister under the ambit of Lok Pal - You love to come under Lok Pal, but your ministers are not allowing!!. Sorry to say that you have been always under the shadow of the entire Cabinet Ministers. I remember an old story about Hanuman. When Hanuman was a child, some sages had cursed him, that he would never be aware of his strength until others informed him of it. And Jambavan praised Hanuman’s ability and strength to make aware of them. Likewise, are you unaware about the powers vested on you by our constitution?. We, the people of India want you to take the decisions on behalf of Congress parliamentary party and not the other way around. That’s how our previous Congress Prime Ministers had acted. The decisions of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi came out as decisions of Congress party.

Continue reading..

Is Washington happy with Indian stand on Nuclear deal

  • Michael Krepon, the co founder of Stimson Centre wrote in Hindu this week on the on going contentious nuclear issue on ENR technology transfer.
  • Through the article he tries to make a point that India has no basis to feel aggrieved that the letter or spirit of the civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S. has been subverted.

Continue reading..

PHWR | Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of India


Importance of nuclear energy was recognised as soon as India became independent. The Atomic Energy Act, 1948 was published with sole intent to develop nuclear research for peaceful purposes.The first stage of India's three stage nuclear power programme is energy generation using Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors, fuelled by Natural uranium and produces Plutonium-239 as by-product. Out of the 20 operational nuclear reactors of India, eighteen are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors.

Continue reading..

Nuclear Power in India | Nuclear Energy in India | Nuclear Power Plants in India

Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. As of now India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six nuclear power plants, generating 4,780 MW. India's nuclear power industry is undergoing rapid expansion with plans to increase nuclear power output to 64,000 MW by 2032. India's three-stage vision was first set out in the 1950s by the father of the country’s nuclear programme, physicist Homi Bhabha. On returning from his studies at Cambridge University in the UK, Bhabha conceived a nuclear strategy that would work around India’s rather meagre resources of uranium, the fuel powering current commercial reactors. Instead, he sought to exploit the country's vast reserves of thorium, which - if bathed in an external supply of neutrons - can be used a nuclear fuel.

Continue reading..

Right to Education Act | Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act


The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE), describes the modalities of the provision of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010. Recently the Centre is seriously exploring ways to bring pre-school education under Right to Education Act to provide free and compulsory education to children between the age group of four and six. The move has been initiated following a recommendation made by National Advisory Council (NAC), headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, which stressed that bringing pre-school education under the ambit of RTE Act would ensure continuity in the child’s education.

Continue reading..

SECC | Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011


The Ministry of Rural Development Government of India, is now carrying out the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011, between June 2011 and December 2011, through a comprehensive door to door enumeration across the country. This is the first time such a comprehensive exercise is being carried out for both rural and urban India.It was launched on 29th June 2011 in Hazemora Block in West Tripura.

What is the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) 2011
The Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 is being carried out by the Government of India to generate information on a large number of social and economic indicators relating to households across the country. It will rank households based on their socioeconomic status, so that State/Union Territory Governments can objectively prepare a list of families living below the poverty line in rural and urban areas The SECC, 2011 is being conducted simultaneously for rural and urban areas, by the respective State Government and Union Territory Administration, with technical and financial support from the Government of India.

Continue reading..

Latest Economic News of India - August 2011


PMEAC suggests 49% FDI for all sectors
Charting the boldest reform ever, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) has suggested uniform 49 per cent direct foreign direct investment in all sectors, except the negative ones (defence, nuclear energy, etc) in its Economic Outlook for the financial year 2011-12. At present, key financial sectors, such as banking, have a 33 per cent cap on FDI while for insurance, the ceiling is 26 per cent. Nothing has been decided about the pension sector but it is believed that the FDI cap will be on the same lines as insurance. 

Continue reading..

Orbits of Indian Satellites | Remote Sensing and Geo-Stationary


Indian satellites are basically classified into 2 types
1. Geo-Stationary Satellites
2. Earth Observing Satellites

About Geo-Stationary Satellites

Continue reading..

ISRO | Indian Space Research Organisation


The Indian Space Research Organisation is the primary body for space research under the control of the Government of India, and one of the big six advanced space research organizations that dominate space (others are NASA (U.S), RKA (Russia), CNSA (China), ESA (Europe) and JAXA (Japan). It was established in its modern form in 1969.
S. K. Mitra, C.V. Raman and Meghnad Saha are the notable names during Indias formative years of space research. Organized space research in India was spearheaded by two scientists: Vikram Sarabhai—founder of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad—and Homi Bhabha, who had played a role in the establishment of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1945.Government support became visible by 1950 when the Department of Atomic Energy was founded with Homi Bhabha as secretary. The Department of Atomic Energy provided funding for space research throughout India. Space research was further encouraged by the technically inclined prime minister of India—Jawaharlal Nehru.In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik and opened up possibilities for the rest of the world to conduct a space launch. Beginning in the 1960s, close ties with the Soviet Union enabled India rapidly to develop its space program and advance nuclear power in India. 

Continue reading..

Indian National Satellite System | Indian Remote Sensing Satellites


For the past four decades, ISRO has launched more than 60 satellites for various scientific and technological applications like mobile communications, Direct-to-Home services, meteorological observations, telemedicine, tele-education, disaster warning, radio networking, search and rescue operations, remote sensing and scientific studies of the space.
ISRO has established two major space systems, the Indian National Satellite System (INSAT) series for communication, television broadcasting and meteorological services which is Geo-Stationary Satellites, and Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) system for resources monitoring and management which is Earth Observation Satellites. Also ISRO has launched many Experimental Satellites which are generally small comparing to INSAT or IRS and Space Missions to explore the space. 

Continue reading..

Satellite Launch Vehicles of India | PSLV | GSLV-I&II | GSLV-III


Launch Vehicles are used to transport and put satellites or spacecrafts into space. In India, the launch vehicles development programme began in the early 1970s. The first experimental Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) was developed in 1980. An Augmented version of this, ASLV, was launched successfully in 1992. India has made tremendous strides in launch vehicle technology to achieve self-reliance in satellite launch vehicle programme with the operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). 
PSLV represents ISRO's first attempt to design and develop an operational vehicle that can be used to orbit application satellites. While SLV-3 secured for India a place in the community of space-faring nations, the ASLV provided the rites of passage into launch vehicle technology for ISRO. And with PSLV, a new world-class vehicle has arrived. PSLV has repeatedly proved its reliability and versatility by launching 48 satellites / spacecrafts ( 22 Indian and 26 Foreign Satellites) into a variety of orbits so far.

Continue reading..

UNCLOS | Exclusive Economic Zone of India


Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its coast.

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.The UNCLOS replaces the older and weaker 'freedom of the seas' concept, dating from the 17th century: national rights were limited to a specified belt of water extending from a nation's coastlines, usually three nautical miles. All waters beyond national boundaries were considered international waters: free to all nations, but belonging to none of them.

Continue reading..

Unique Identification Authority of India | UIDAI | Aadhaar


Unique identification project was initially conceived by the Planning Commission as an initiative that would provide identification for each resident across the country and would be used primarily as the basis for efficient delivery of welfare services. It would also act as a tool for effective monitoring of various programs and schemes of the Government.
In 2006,two projects were on pipeline and approved by the Planning commission of India - 1. Unique ID for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families by the Department of Information Technology and 2. National Population Register and issuance of Multi-purpose National Identity Cards to citizens of India by Registrar General of India. Therefore, it was decided, with the approval of the Prime Minister, to constitute an empowered group of Ministers (EGoM) to collate the two schemes – the National Population Register under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Unique Identification Number project of the Department of Information Technology. 

Continue reading..

E-Choupal : An initiative by ITC for rural India


E-Choupal is an initiative of ITC Limited, India, to link directly with rural farmers via the Internet for procurement of agricultural and aquaculture products like soybeans, wheat, coffee, and prawns. e-Choupal was conceived to tackle the challenges posed by the unique features of Indian agriculture, characterized by fragmented farms, weak infrastructure and the involvement of numerous intermediaries. The programme involves the installation of computers with Internet access in rural areas of India to offer farmers up-to-date marketing and agricultural information.

Continue reading..

RSBY : Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana


RSBY has been launched by Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India to provide health insurance coverage for Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. The objective of RSBY is to provide protection to BPL households from financial liabilities arising out of health shocks that involve hospitalization. Beneficiaries under RSBY are entitled to hospitalization coverage up to Rs. 30,000/- for most of the diseases that require hospitalization. Government has even fixed the package rates for the hospitals for a large number of interventions. Pre-existing conditions are covered from day one and there is no age limit. Coverage extends to five members of the family which includes the head of household, spouse and up to three dependents. Beneficiaries need to pay only Rs. 30/- as registration fee while Central and State Government pays the premium to the insurer selected by the State Government on the basis of a competitive bidding. The scheme has already been extended to street vendors, beedi and domestic workers and there are plans to include toddy tappers, sanitation workers and rag pickers.

Continue reading..

Indian Current Affairs | Current Affairs India - August 2011


India Japan CEPA comes into force
This is India’s 3rd Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (after Singapore and South Korea) and India’s first with a developed country. The Agreement is most comprehensive of all the agreements concluded by India so far as it covers more than 90% of trade, a vast gamut of services, investment, IPR, customs and other trade-related issues. Under the India- Japan CEPA only 17.4% of the tariff-lines have been offered for immediate reduction of tariff to zero % by India. Tariffs will be brought to zero in 10 years on 66.32% of tariff lines to give sufficient time to industry to adjust to the trade liberalization.The Japanese side has put 87% of its tariff lines under immediate reduction of tariff to zero. A large number of these items are of India’s export interest e.g. seafood, agricultural products such as mangoes, citrus fruits, spices, instant tea, textile products etc. It will greatly help Indian pharmaceutical companies.

Continue reading..

OECD | India's relationship with OECD


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices, and co-ordinate domestic and international policies of its members. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries.

The OECD promotes policies designed:
  • to achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world economy;
  •  to contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as nonmember countries in the process of economic development; and
  • to contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, nondiscriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.

Continue reading..

ASEAN | India and East Asia Submit

On August 8, 1967 the "Bangkok Declaration" gave birth to Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), an organisation that would unite five countries in a joint effort to promote economic co-operation and the welfare of their peoples.
This five-member grouping of Southeast Asian countries comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand would over the span of 44 years grow to become a strong-linked geo-political and economic organisation of countries occupying the prosperous Southeast Asia region. Since then, its membership has expanded to include Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Continue reading..

Common Service Centers : E-Governance Project of India


The CSC is a strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), approved by the Government in May 2006, as part of its commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale.
Advances in Information and Communication Technologies have made it possible today to provide a whole range of high-quality and cost-effective services relating to video, voice and data content through a single communication channel using appropriate terminal equipment. This opens up a whole realm of possibilities for provision of e-government, entertainment, education, telemedicine, e-commerce, info-services, etc. ubiquitously. Government of India is committed to leveraging these advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the benefit of the citizens, especially those in rural and remote areas. It is therefore considered necessary to create a network of access points termed Common Services Centres  (CSCs) throughout the country as outlets for such services.

Continue reading..

Indian Air Force | C-17 Globemaster III


The Indian Air Force will induct its first C-17 Globemaster III, its largest strategic heavy lift aircraft, at the Hindan air force in Ghaziabad after it is procured from the US by 2013-14. Recently India has formally cleared the biggest-ever Indo-US defence deal, the $4.1 billion (Rs 19,000-crore) contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft.
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster will augment the IAF's inventory, which recently went up with the induction of the C130J Super Hercules transport aircraft from another U.S. company Lockheed Martin. These aircraft would allow the IAF to swiftly move a greater number of troops and materials than its existing transport fleet of AN-32 and Il-76 ‘Gajraj,' inducted more than two decades ago.

Continue reading..

Damodar River | Damodar Valley | Damodar Valley Corporation


Damodar River

The Damodar River rises at the Chandwa village, Palamau hills of Choota Nagpur in the Jharkhand state . It flows in a south-easterly direction entering the deltaic plains below Raniganj. Near Burdwan, the river abruptly changes its course to a southerly direction and joins Hooghly about 48.27 km below Calcutta. Damodar basin lies in the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal.The Chota Nagpur Plateau receives an average annual rainfall of around 1400 mm, almost all of it in the monsoon months between June and August. Damodar River was earlier known as the River of Sorrows as it used to flood many areas of Bardhaman, Hughli, Howrah and Medinipur districts.

Continue reading..

What is S&P Rating | India's S&P Rating


Standard & Poor's (S&P) is a US-based financial services company, owned McGraw-Hill Companies that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks and bonds. It is well known for the stock market indices like the US-based S&P 500, India's S&P CNX Nifty etc. It is one among the big three credit rating agencies. Others are Moody's and Fitch Group, Moody's is US-based, while Fitch is French based. All these rating agencies - S&P, Moody's and Fitch - analyze risk and give debt a "grade" that reflects the borrower's ability to pay the underlying loans.

Continue reading..

US Debt Crisis Explained


The King is naked!! Can you believe this?. The richest, biggest and strongest economy of the world is slowly nearing the inevitable disaster. A disaster that the world has never seen before and can shake the entire world more than Atom Bombs.Over the last 50 years,the mighty kingdom have accumulated the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the world. 30 years ago the U.S. national debt was a bit under one trillion dollars and today  the national debt is 14 times larger and the years ahead look absolutely horrible at this point.

Have a deep look at the debt statistics of United States

Continue reading..

Effect of US Debt crisis on India


The biggest and strongest economy in the world is in the verge of economic crisis. Most of the Americans feel that the deal signed by their President was a cruel joke on them and its a complete and total fraud. They stand in front of a whopping national debt of $14.3 trillion (1 trillion is 1,000 billion, 1 crore crore in Indian rupee).

How US debit crisis affects India
Any crisis in US is a concern to all nations around the world including emerging markets. But the question is how much we can isolate our economy from the impact of a double dip recession in US, which could eventually spread across the nations. Experts have an opinion that the impact on India on a macro basis is limited as compared to other emerging markets like Korea or Taiwan because we are not dependent on demand in the Europe and US. We have the domestic consumption story going for us and if crude much below USD 90, it would be the silver lining on inflation, sooner than later. 

Continue reading..

US Less Than 3 Years Away From Being Greece: Walker

The US is only a few years away from reaching the same debt levels that pushed Greece to the brink of ruin, former comptroller general and head of the Comeback America Initiative David Walker said.As the ratio of its debt to gross national product eclipsed 100 percent and surged toward 150 percent, Greece has twice in the last two years nearly defaulted on its debt. Only successive bailout packages from the European Union and International Monetary Fund prevented catastrophe. When tolling up all the US debts, including huge unfunded liabilities to Social Security and Medicare, the US is on dangerous ground, Walker said in a CNBC interview. 

What is Jan Lok Pal, Why it is so important to India


The Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen's ombudsman Bill) is a draft anti-corruption bill drawn up by prominent civil society activists seeking the appointment of a Jan Lokpal, an independent body  that would investigate corruption cases, complete the investigation within a year and envisages trial in the case getting over in the next one year.

Drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde (former Supreme Court Judge), Prashant Bhushan (Supreme Court Lawyer) and Arvind Kejriwal (RTI activist), the draft Bill envisages a system where a corrupt person found guilty would go to jail within two years of the complaint being made and his ill-gotten wealth being confiscated. It also seeks power to the Jan Lokpal to prosecute politicians and bureaucrats without government permission.

Continue reading..

How to tackle Black Money


R. Viswanathan published an informative article on ways to tackle black money in The Hindu BusinessLine

How black money is generated?
All forms of corruption involve generation of black money.It is generated even in legitimate transactions, such as fees paid to a professional or in a land/house deal and various other transactions. A vast majority of people generate black money by evading taxes – income, sales, VAT and similar levies.  In many land/house deals, the property is undervalued to evade some stamp duty and registration charges.Black money is stashed away in foreign tax havens, gold or precious metals and land/houses. And, politicians spend a portion of their ill-gotten wealth in spending for elections.

Continue reading..

Objective Type Questions on Indian Polity | Constitution - Quiz 6

1. Which amendment to the constitution made it mandatory for the President to accept the advice given by the council of ministers?
A. 62nd amendment
B. 52nd amendment
C. 42nd amendment
D. 32nd amendment

Continue reading..

Indian Current Affairs - July 31

Cabinet approves Lok Pal
  • Forty-three years after the first draft was conceived, the Union Cabinet approved a Lokpal Bill, keeping outside its purview a serving Prime Minister, the higher judiciary and the conduct of MPs inside Parliament. The Bill, which includes some provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill, provides for setting up the institution of Lokpal to probe allegations of corruption against a Union Minister or officials of Group A and above without having to obtain any sanction. It will have its own investigation and prosecution wings but no powers to prosecute. It would recommend prosecution to the Supreme Court.
  • The Bill provides for inquiry into allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister after he or she demits office.It provides for a time limitation period of seven years from the date of taking cognisance of an offence. In the case of the Prime Minister, the limitation period will apply after he or she demits office.

Continue reading..