National Skill Development Agency

NSDA is an autonomous body which will coordinate and harmonize the skill development efforts of the Government and the private sector to achieve the skilling targets of the 12th Plan and beyond and endeavour to bridge the social, regional, gender and economic divide 
(i) by ensuring that the skilling needs of the disadvantaged and marginalized groups like SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, women and differently-abled persons are taken care of through the various skill development programmes and 
(ii) by taking affirmative actions as part of advocacy by the NSDA. The Central Ministries and NSDC will continue to implement schemes in their remit. The NSDA will anchor the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and facilitate the setting up of professional certifying bodies in addition to the existing ones. 

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What is Qualified institutional placement

Qualified institutional placement (QIP) is a capital-raising tool, primarily used in India and other parts of southern Asia, whereby a listed company can issue equity shares, fully and partly convertible debentures, or any securities other than warrants which are convertible to equity shares to a qualified institutional buyer (QIB).

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National Mission on Food Processing (NMFP)

The NMFP scheme would help the States / UTs in maintaining requisite synergy between agriculture plans of States and Development of food processing sector, which in turn would help in Increase in farm productivity thereby increase in farmers' income also. This would also help in ensuring efficient supply chain by bridging Infrastructural / institutional gaps. The basic objective of NMFP is decentralization of implementation of Ministry's schemes, which will lead to substantial participation of State Governments / UTs.

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National Water Mission Goals

The main objective of the National Water Mission is “conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within States through integrated water resources development and management”. 

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Current Affairs Notes from PIB - May 2013 - Part 3

1. Antyodaya Anna Yojana for Subsidised Foodgrains - Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) was launched in December, 2000 in all States/UTs for one crore families to be identified from the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. Coverage under this scheme has been expanded thrice. The identification of AAY families within the target of AAY families allocated to each State/UT is the responsibility of concerned State/UT Government. Against the accepted number of 2.50 crore AAY families given to State/UT Governments, upto March, 2013, they have reported issuance of AAY ration cards to 2.43 crore AAY families. Allocation of foodgrains (rice & wheat) to these AAY families is made @ 35 kg per family per month at a highly subsidized Central Issue Price (CIP) of Rs.2 per kg for wheat and Rs.3 per kg for rice.

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Current Affairs Notes from PIB - May 2013 - Part 2

1. Mangroves are woody, specialized types of trees of the tropics that can live on the edge, where rainforests meet oceans. Found on sheltered coastlines and river deltas, they grow in brackish wetlands between land and sea where other plants can't grow. They protect the coastline and prevent erosion by collecting sediment from the rivers and streams and slowing down the flow of water. There are about 39.3 million acres of mangrove forests in the warm coastlines of tropical oceans all over the world. More than 10.5 million acres, or 27% of mangrove forests are found in Southeast Asia.

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National Action Plan on Climate Change - Eight Missions

In 2008, Government of India released India’s first National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) outlining existing and future policies and programs addressing climate mitigation and adaptation.  The plan identifies eight core “national missions” running through 2017 and directs ministries to submit detailed implementation plans to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change by December 2008.
Emphasizing the overriding priority of maintaining high economic growth rates to raise living standards, the plan “identifies measures that promote our development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively.”  It says these national measures would be more successful with assistance from developed countries, and pledges that India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions “will at no point exceed that of developed countries even as we pursue our development objectives.”

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Current Affairs from PIB - May 2013 - Part 1

1. Earlier, farmgate prices of urea (a nitronegous fertilizer) and complex fertilizers have traditionally been controlled by the government. Consequently, any increase in the cost of production for fertilizer companies was reimbursed by the government in the form of a subsidy. To rein in the ballooning fiscal deficit, the government, in 2010, introduced an NBS regime in complex fertilizers, under which the subsidy was fixed for each nutrient. Simultaneously, farmgate prices of complex fertilizers were decontrolled.
Natural gas is the predominant input in the manufacture of urea, which accounts for 50 per cent of fertilizer consumption in the country. 

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Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement - India


Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) also referred as Tax Treaty is a bilateral economic agreement between two nations that aims to avoid or eliminate double taxation of the same income in two countries.

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Why PNG is better than LPG

PNG is an effective alternative for LPG and will be beneficial in the long term. The only requirement is to have a network in place. The carbon emission from PNG is minimum compared to all other fuels. Since the fuel is supplied through pipelines, the headache of storage never arises hence the safety quotient is also good.

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Mid Day Meal Scheme

The Mid Day Meal Scheme is a programme of the Government of India which seeks to address issues of food security, lack of nutrition and access to education on a pan nation scale. It involves provision for free lunch on working days for children in Primary and Upper Primary Classes.

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National Knowledge Commission

The National Knowledge Commission is a high-level advisory body to the Prime Minister of India, with the objective of transforming India into a knowledge society. In its endeavour to transform the knowledge landscape of the country, the National Knowledge Commission has submitted around 300 recommendations on 27 focus areas during its three and a half year term. While the term of the NKC has come to an end, the implementation of NKC's recommendations is currently underway at the Central and State levels.

National Mission on Libraries

The National Mission on Libraries India, an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, works to modernise and digitally link nearly 9,000 libraries across India to provide readers access to books and information. The scheme was approved by Government in November 2013 and the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee launched the mission.

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Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme

More than 20 Lakh persons have been provided employment under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) which is being implemented by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

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Benefits of increased usage of CNG/PNG

CNG is one of the cleanest and most environment friendly fuel as compared to other fuels used by automotive vehicles. The level of vehicular emissions is significantly lower in case of CNG when compared to liquid fuels like Diesel and Petrol.

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PIB News Analysis - 15 January 2013

Lakhipur-Bhanga stretch
The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of a Bill in the Parliament for declaring Lakhipur-Bhanga stretch (121 kms.) of the Barak River as a National Waterway. The Government of India has so far declared five waterways as National Waterways. These are:- 
1.  Allahabad-Haldia stretch of the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system (1620 km); 
2.  Dhubri-Sadiya stretch of Brahmaputra River (891 km); 
3. Kottapuram-Kollam stretch of West Coast Canal along with Udyogmandal and Champakara Canals (205 km); 
4. Kakinada-Puducherry stretch of the canal along with designated stretches of Godavari and Krishna Rivers (1078 km);
5. Designated stretches of East Coast Canal, Brahmani River and Mahanadi Delta (588 km). 
6. The Lakhipur-Bhanga stretch of the Barak River would be the sixth National Waterway.

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PIB News Analysis - 09 January 2013

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan
The principal end objectives of the National Mission for Electric Mobility (NMEM) are National energy security, mitigation of the adverse impact of vehicles on the environment and growth of domestic manufacturing capabilities. It sets the vision, lays the targets and provides the joint Government – industry vision for realizing the huge potential that exists for full range of efficient and environmentally friendly electric vehicle (including hybrids) technologies by 2020.

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PIB News Analysis - 02 January 2013

FDI vs Portfolio Investment
Foreign direct investment is a direct investment into production or business in a country by an individual/company of another country, either by buying a company in the target country or by expanding operations of an existing business in that country. But Portfolio investment is a passive investment in the securities of another country such as stocks and bonds.

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PIB News Analysis - 01 January 2013


Current Account Deficit widening due to large gold import
CAD was financed without drawing on reserves. This was mainly due to adequate inflow of FDI (US$ 12.8 billion) and FII (US$ 6.2 billion). In addition, external commercial borrowing amounted to US$ 1.7 billion. The net result is that we have not drawn on the foreign exchange reserves and, in fact, there is a marginal accretion of US$ 0.4 billion to the foreign exchange reserves. While the CAD is indeed worrying, it is within our capacity to finance the CAD, thanks to FDI, FII and ECB.

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PIB News Analysis - Ecologically Sensitive Areas of Western Ghats

The great mountain chain of Western Ghats is the source of all the major rivers of India’s southern peninsula. Its ecological health depend on  the livelihoods of millions of people, not only in the six Western Ghats states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Kerala, but of Andhra Pradesh as well. Besides, it is one of the world’s treasure troves of plant and animal life, with a great wealth of unique plant and animal species. The mountains also harbour a number of wild relatives of cultivated plants, including pepper, cardamom, mango, jackfruit and plantain.

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