Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Daily News Mail - News of 28/06/2015

Digital India to bring investments in ‘billions’
  • The Digital India Week, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 1, is likely to see commitments of “billions of dollars” of investments by foreign and domestic firms, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on June 27.
  • “A number of memorandums of understanding for investment proposals will be signed. We except large-scale investments in electronic manufacturing and Digital India … should be billions of dollars. The industry leaders will announce their plans at the event,” Mr. Prasad said.
  • The investments will also generate employment for lakhs of people, he added.
  • “The Digital India programme can help India make rapid strides in business and technology. Private participation is one of the factors that will determine its success,” the Minister said.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while sharing the roadmap for Digital India, will unveil various e-governance schemes such as Digital Locker, e-education and e-health at the Digital India Week, beginning on July 1.

States must strengthen urban local bodies, says Venkaiah
  • The government on June 27 asked the States to strengthen urban local bodies by transferring funds and powers for successful implementation of new urban initiatives.
  • “Countdown for urban transformation has begun. States and ULBs have a critical role to make the schemes a reality,” Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told presspersons.
  • “Without devolution of powers and funds to urban local bodies as per the 74th Amendment, urban schemes cannot be successfully implemented,” he said.
  • Mr. Naidu said the 14th Finance Commission had granted Rs. 87,143 crore against Rs. 23,111 crore by the 13th Finance Commission, which was a substantial increase of four times for urban local bodies.
Nadia gets U.N. pat for achieving total sanitation
  • The district Magistrate of Nadia along with chief of Nadia Zilla Parishad in West Bengal was on June 27 presented the United Nations Public Services Award 2015 for eliminating open defecation in the district.
  • Nadia district, located in south Bengal, had half of its population defecating in open till October 2013. The district administration, under a programme called Sabar Souchagar, built 3.56 lakh toilets in the district. As a result, the number of people continuing with the practice dropped to mere 0.2 per cent.

Daily News Mail - News of 27/06/2015

India ranked best for investment
In the profitability index, the country is way ahead of China, U.S. In the 2014 index, India was at the sixth position
A ranking of destinations for attractiveness to foreign investors has placed India at the top among 110 countries. In the 2014 index, India was at the sixth position and Hong Kong was number one.

About the index :
The ranking is based on an index for baseline profitability that assumes that three factors affect the ultimate success of a foreign investment:
  1. How much the value of an asset grows.
  2. The preservation of that value while the asset is owned.
  3. The ease of repatriation of proceeds from selling the asset.
The index combines measures for each of these factors into a summary statistic that conveys a country’s basic attractiveness for investment.

The index compares how local policies and conditions affect the same investment in different countries. Or how the value of the principal and the return will change depending only on where the investment is made.

Other detail:
  • China has secured the 65th position and the U.S. is at the 50th. In the 2014 index, India was at the sixth position and Hong Kong was number one.
  • A high ranking indicates high returns and improving economic institutions.
  • India came first in the Baseline Profitability Index helped by its improved ranking in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index — in 2014, the country was at the 85th position out of 175 countries as compared to its ranking of 94 out of 177 countries in 2013.
  • Baseline Profitability Index (BPI) calculation also uses an index of investor protection compiled by the World Bank. In 2014, the average BPI score across all countries was 0.99; this year it is 1.03 — meaning the expected returns over the next five years are about three-quarters of a per cent higher a year.
Satnam Singh Bhamara becomes first Indian-origin player to be drafted into NBA

Satnam Singh Bhamara has scripted history by becoming the first Indian basketball player to be drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the US.

This is the first time since the 2005 NBA Draft that a player entered the draft without playing in college, abroad professionally, or in the NBA development league.

About Satnam
  1. He hails from Ballo Ke village near Ludhiana in Punjab.
  2. He hails from a family of farmers.
  3. He went to the US in September 2010, as part of a scholarship programme between IMG and Reliance.
  4. Canadian-born Gursimran ‘Sim’ Bhullar was the first player of Indian origin to play in the NBA.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is men’s professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues. NBA players are the world’s best paid sportsmen, by average annual salary per player.
Satnam Singh Bhamara

Railyatri/Upbhokta Pakhwada
The historical country-wide massive public outreach event under the name “Railyatri/Upbhokta Pakhwada” (Passenger and customer Facilitation fortnight) organized all over Indian Railways was recently concluded.

Aim of the programme:
This fortnight long programme was primarily directed towards improvement of passenger amenities and services, customer care, participation of passenger and railway staff in various activities and for creating awareness amongst the public about Railway’s initiatives and achievements.

Themes of the programme:
The fortnight long Railyatri Upbhokta ‘Pakhwada’ was based on the themes of SEVA (Service), SAMAPRAN (Dedication), SAHYOG (Cooperation/participation), SANKALP(Commitment) and SAMPARK (Outreach).

The events undertaken during this fortnight long programme included:
  • Inauguration/launching of completed projects.
  • Signing of MoUs with Railways PSUs for upgrading passenger amenities in certain identified stations.
  • Formation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) with the State Governments for joint development of Infrastructure.
  • Road Shows & Interaction by GMs and DRMs with passengers and other customers by visiting stations and by traveling with public in suburban and other passenger trains.
  • Interaction with State Government Authorities, interaction with public seeking their support for Railway’s Cleanliness Campaign and Safety Awareness Campaign at unmanned level crossings.
  • Inspection of Railway Stations.
  • Drive about courtesy programme for the front line staff.
  • Health check-up camps, intensive drive to check catering services, vigilance checks, intensive ticket checking drive, drive against touts etc.


1. Consider the following statements
  1. The percentage of Open forest in India is more than Moderately Dense forest
  2. Area covered under Plantation is more than very Dense forest
  3. Shifting Cultivation has increased over the years and shares more land use as compared to Non-Forestry Plantation.
Select the correct code-
  1. 1, 2 and 3
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. None
Solution: 4
13th Indian State of Forest Report by Forest Survey of India

Categorisation of Forest
It was now possible for FSI to classify the forest cover in three canopy density classes viz. Very Dense Forest (VDF, having canopy assessment in this series.density of 70% and above), Moderately Dense Forest (MDF, having canopy density of 40% and more but less than 70%.) and Open Forest (OF, having canopy density of 10% and more but less than 40%)  against earlier two density classes i.e. Dense Forest (having canopy density over 40 per cent) and Open Forest (having canopy density between 10 and 40 percent) used till SFR 2001.

Forest cover mapping
XIII Indian State of Forest Report of year 2013 having data period of 2010-12.Sensor used: IRS P6-LISS-III IRS-Resourcesat 2-LISS III; spatial resolution - 23.5 m; scale - 1:50,000; Minimum mapping unit(ha) - 1; Mode of interpretation - Digital.

Forest Cover and Recorded Forest Area
The 'Forest Cover' as used in ISFR refers to all lands more than one hectare in area with a tree canopy of more than 10% irrespective of ownership and legal status including orchards, bamboo and palm. On the other hand, the term 'Recorded Forest Area' (or forest area) refers to all the geographic areas recorded as 'Forests' in government records. Recorded forest areas largely consist of Reserved Forests (RF) and Protected Forests (PF), which have been constituted under the provisions of Indian Forest Act 1927. Besides RFs and PFs, the recorded forest area may also include all such areas which have been recorded as forests in the revenue records or have been constituted so under any State Act or local law. Thus, 'Forest Cover' indicates presence of trees on any land irrespective of their ownership and the 'Forest Area' denotes the legal status of the land.

Forest Cover vs Tree Cover
Forest Cover - All lands more than one hectare in area, >10% tree canopy; satellite can easily measure it; nearly 7 lakh sq.km; 21.23% of Indian land
Tree Cover - below 1 ht. area under trees. (especially surrounding villages and woodlands); need satellite + manual field verification; nearly 91,000 sq.km; 2.78% of Indian land.

Total forest and tree cover
The total forest and tree cover is estimated at 24.01 per cent, according to the report.

There has been an increase of 5,871 sq km of the country’s forest area since 2011, even as moderately dense forest areas have depleted due to population increase, grazing and encroachments, says the biennial “India State of Forest Report 2013,” 

Details of State of Forest Report
  1. http://mrunal.org/2014/08/forest-survey-2013-resourcesat-mangroves-agroforestry-urban-forestry-ranking.html
  2. http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/forest-cover-has-increased-despite-some-setbacks/article6191329.ece
2. Soil erosion is one of the major reasons for depleting forest covers of India. Consider
the following statements w.r.t this-
  1. Excessive erosion of bottom soil reduces both the fertility and water holding capacity of the soil.
  2. Major part of Indian forest cover has undergone heavy soil erosion amounting almost 30% of Recorded Forest Area.
Select the correct code-
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both
  4. None
Solution- 4
Explanation- Excessive erosion of TOP soil, not Bottom soil. Erosion takes place on the top
surface of soil. Major forest cover of India has undergone Mild Erosion amounting 63% of
RFA. Heavy Soil erosion amounts to 2.24 % of RFA

3. Which of the following is/are artificial methods of ‘Forest Regeneration’?
  1. Taungya System
  2. Silviculture System
Select the correct code-
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both
  4. None
Solution- 3
Explanation- UPSC asks questions about Vegetative Stem cutting and other such methods.
Forest Survey Report has mentioned about Forest regeneration methods.
Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health,
and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values. The name comes from the
Latinsilvi- (forest) + culture (as in growing). The study of forests and woods is
termed silvology. Silviculture also focuses on making sure that the treatment(s) of forest
stands are used to preserve and to better their productivity. 
The taungya is a system whereby villagers and sometimes forest plantation workers are
given the right to cultivate agricultural crops during the early stages of forest plantation
establishment. Taungya means hill cultivation, it was introduced into-India by Dr. Brandis in
1890 and the first Taungya plantation was raised in 1896 in north Bengal. It is practiced in
Kerala, West Bangal, U.P., and to lesser extent in Tamil Nadu, A. P. Orissa and the north
eastern hill regions. In southern India the system is called KUMARI; it is practiced in a areas
with an assured annual rainfall of over 1200-1500mm.
This is a modified term of shifting cultivation in which labour is permitted to raise crop in an
area but only side by side with the forest species planted by them. The practices consist of
land preparation, tree planting, growing agricultural crop for 1 to 3 years until shade

becomes the dense and then moving on to repeat the cycle in a different area.

4. Consider the statements regarding ‘Coral bleaching’
  1. It is the loss of zooxanthellae through either expulsion or loss of algal pigmentation.
  2. It happens due to increase in ocean temperature
  3. All the corals undergoing bleaching are dead corals
Select the correct code-
  1. 1 and 3
  2. Only 2
  3. Only 1
  4. 2 and 3
Solution- 3
Explanation- First statement is true. 
zooxanthellae Coral has a symbiotic relationship with microscopic algae called zooxanthellae that live in their tissues. These algae are their primary food source and give them their colour. When the symbiotic relationship becomes stressed due to increased ocean temperature or pollution, the algae leaves the coral's tissue.Without the algae, the coral loses its major source of food, turns white or very pale, and is more susceptible to disease.This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.

Coral bleaching not only happens because of warm temperature but can also happen due to Cold temperature. Not all bleaching events are due to warm water. In January 2010, cold water temperatures in the Florida Keys caused a coral bleaching event that resulted in some coral death. Water temperatures dropped 12.06 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the typical temperatures observed at this time of year.Researchers will evaluate if this cold-stress event will make corals more susceptible to disease in the same way that warmer waters impact corals.
When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are
under more stress and are subject to mortality.

Coral bleaching - http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/coral_bleach.html

5. Rhodiola has been a significant herb of research interests among the scientist all over
the world. Consider the statements w.r.t Rhodiola
  1. It has immunomodulatory, adaptogenic and radio-protecting abilities.
  2. The root part is used by local people as vegetables
  3. It is found in cold regions of the world
Which of the following statements is /are correct
  1. 1, 2, and 3
  2. 1 and 2
  3. Only 3
  4. 1 and 3
Solution - 4
Explanation - - The leafy part is used as vegetables. The root is used as Medicine.


6. Consider the statement below
Germany is investing in an emission reduction project in India as an alternative to reducing
emissions domestically. It will be called as-
  1. Joint Implementation
  2. Clean Development Mechanism
  3. Certified Emission Reduction Credits
  4. None

Solution- 4
Explanation- The definition given is of Joint Implementation but India cannot be its
beneficiary since it applies among Annex 1 countries only. CDM applies to developing

7. Identify the correct statement
  1. The Bio-safety protocol deals with genetically modified organism
  2. The Bio-safety protocol is also called as Nagoya Protocol
  3. Both Nagoya and Cartagena Protocol deals with genetic resources
Select the correct code
  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 3
Solution- 4
Explanation- The Bio-safety protocol is Cartagena not Nagoya. Rest are correct.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international agreement which aims to ensure the safe handling, transport and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health. It was adopted on 29 January 2000 and entered into force on 11 September 2003.

Nagoya Protocol
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. 
The Nagoya Protocol on ABS was adopted on 29 October 2010 in Nagoya, Japan and entered into force on 12 October 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Its objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. 

8. The formation of ozone hole in the Antarctica region has been a cause of concern. What
could be the reason for the formation of this hole?
  1. Presence of prominent tropospheric turbulence and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons
  2. Presence of prominent polar front and stratospheric clouds and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons.
  3. Absence of polar front and stratospheric clouds and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons.
  4. Increased temperature of polar region due to global warming
Solution- 2

Polar Front- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_front (also see Hadley cell, Ferrel cell and Polar cell)

Our Solar system's second largest moon, Titan (moon of saturn) has a anti-greenhouse effect that reduces the warming. Largest moon of our solar system is Ganymede(moon of Jupiter).

9. Consider the following statements regarding Bio-asphalt
  1. It is eco-friendly to use bio-asphalt for surfacing of the roads
  2. Unlike traditional asphalts, bio-asphalts is not based on fossil fuels.
  3. Bio-asphalt can be made from organic waste materials.
  4. Bio-asphalt can be made from non-renewable resources
Select the correct code-
  1. 1, 3 and 4
  2. 2, 3 and 4
  3. 1, 2 and 3
  4. 4. All
Asphalt - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asphalt
Bio-asphalt - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioasphalt ; http://thegreenenergyblog.com/uncategorized/bioasphalt-renewable-construction-material-2
10. Which bacterial strain, developed from natural isolates by genetic manipulations, can
be used for treating oil spills?
  1. Agrobacterium
  2. Clostridium
  3. Nitrosomonas
  4. Pseudomonas
Solution- 4
Explanation- Oil eating bacteria is an aerobic bacterium. The genetic name Pseudomonas
created for organisms like oil eating bacteria was.

http://scienceblogs.com/oscillator/2010/06/08/oil-eating-bacteria/ (Bioremediation; Pseudomonas putida - first patented organism in the world by its inventor, Ananda Mohan Chakrabarty)


1. Which of the following factors have never been accounted in the calculation of poverty in India before the Rangarajan committee came up with its report on Poverty?
  1. Cost of basic Education
  2. Health expenses
  3. Housing expenses
  4. Nutrition based expenses
Choose the correct answer using the codes below.
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 4 only
  3. All of the above
  4. 4 only
Solution: 4
Explanation: The Tendulkar committee, appointed before the Rangarajan committee, had included the estimates of health and education in its estimation of poverty. But the Rangarajan committee also included nutrition (fat etc.) and a richer basket of commodities for the poor’s consumption.

According to Economic Survey of 2011-12:
Poverty: The latest estimates of poverty are available for the year 2011-12. These estimates have been made following the Tendulkar Committee methodology using household consumption expenditure survey data. For 2011-12, the percentage of persons living below the poverty line is estimated as 25.7 percent in rural areas, 13.7 percent in urban areas, and 21.9 percent for the country as a whole. It was 37.2 percent in 2004-05.

Poverty line estimation - http://mrunal.org/2014/08/economic-survey-ch13-poverty-line-tendulkar-rangarajan-engels-law-mnrega-aajeevika-nrum.html

2. The concept of ‘Depreciation’ is applicable to which of the following?
  1. Human capital
  2. Physical capital
  3. Currency
Choose the correct answer using the codes below.
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. All of the above
Solution: 4
Explanation: Depreciation is nothing but a continous reduction in the value of something over time. Continuous use of machine leads to depreciation and change of technology makes a machine obsolete. That is an example of depreciation of physical capital. In the case of human capital, depreciation takes place with ageing but can be reduced, to a large extent, through continuous investment in education, health, etc. This investment also facilitates the human capital to cope with change in technology which is not the case with physical capital.

4. Consider the following statements with regard to the public expenditure on education in India.
  1. Elementary education takes a major share of total education expenditure.
  2. Expenditure per student in tertiary education is higher than that of elementary.
  3. Public expenditure on education per year is greater than that in Defence sector.
 Choose the correct answer using the codes below.
  1. 1and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

Solution: 4
Explanation: According to the latest UNDP report the government spending on education is 4.1 per cent of GDP which is lower than the global weighted average of 4.9 per cent. Defence sector accounts for around 2.5 per cent of GDP in India. Expenditure on elementary education has to be greater than that in tertiary because of the huge

number of students. For e.g. 12 crore children are served mid day meals daily in school!!!

5. Non Banking Financial Company - Micro Finance Institutions (NBFC-MFIs) can serve which of following purposes in India?
  1. Education loans
  2. Loan for Income generation activities
  3. Savings account for the poor
Choose the correct answer using the codes below.
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. All of the above
Solution: 4
Explanation:  As per RBI regulations, a part (i.e. maximum of 30%) of the aggregate amount of loans by NBFC- MFIs may be extended for other purposes such as housing repairs, education, medical and other emergencies. However aggregate amount of loans given for income generation should constitute at least 70 per cent of the total loans of the NBFC-MFI. Microcredit is part of microfinance, which provides a wider range of financial services, especially savings accounts, to the poor. Modern microcredit is generally considered to have originated with the Grameen Bank founded in Bangladesh in 1983

Micro-creditMicrocredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to impoverished borrowers who typically lack collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history. It is designed not only to support entrepreneurship and alleviate poverty, but also in many cases to empower women and uplift entire communities by extension. In many communities, women lack the highly stable employment histories that traditional lenders tend to require. Many are illiterate, and therefore unable to complete paperwork required to get conventional loans. As of 2009 an estimated 74 million men and women held microloans that totalled US$38 billion. Grameen Bank reports that repayment success rates are between 95 and 98 percent.
Microcredit is part of microfinance, which provides a wider range of financial services, especially savings accounts, to the poor. Modern microcredit is generally considered to have originated with the Grameen Bank founded in Bangladesh in 1983. Many traditional banks subsequently introduced microcredit despite initial misgivings. The United Nations declared 2005 the International Year of Microcredit. As of 2012, microcredit is widely used in developing countries and is presented as having "enormous potential as a tool for poverty alleviation." 

6. Consider the following with reference to the unorganised sector in India.
  1. It generates a miniscule part of India’s GDP.
  2. It employs a majority of India’s working population.
  3. It is not regulated by any laws, rules or regulations.
Choose the correct answer using the codes below.
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. 2 only
Solution: 4
Explanation: It employs nearly 90% of India’s population and generates more than 50% of India’s GDP. A number of social security schemes, laws, rules and regulations have been there for these workers.
The Indian economy is characterised by the existence of a vast majority of informal or unorganised labour employment. As per a survey carried out by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 2009–10, the total employment in the country was of 46.5 crore comprising around 2.8 crore in the organised and the remaining 43.7 crore workers in the unorganised sector. Out of these workers in the unorganised sector, there are 24.6 crore workers employed in agricultural sector, about 4.4 crore in construction work and remaining in manufacturing and service.

7. What is meant by the ‘casualization of workforce’?
  1. Majority of labour moving from regular salaried jobs to self-employment
  2. Majority of labour moving from informal jobs to self-employment
  3. Majority of labour moving from regular salaried jobs to informal jobs
  4. Majority of labour moving from regular salaried and self-employment to informal jobs
Solution: 4
In the last four decades (1972-2010), people have moved from self-employment and regular salaried employment to casual wage work. Yet self-employment continues to be the major employment provider. Scholars call this process of moving from self-employment and regular salaried employment to casual wage work as casualization of workforce. This makes the workers highly vulnerable due to lack of proper legal protection, tough work conditions and social security schemes.

8. Which of the following human development indicators are published by the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP)?
  1. Multi-dimensional poverty Index (MPI)
  2. Inequality-adjusted HDI
  3. Gender Development Index
  4. Gender Inequality Index
Choose the correct answer using the codes below.
  1. 1, 2 and 4 only
  2. 1 and 3 only
  3. 2 and 3 only
  4. All of the above
Solution: 4
Refer to this link. It has presented all the indicators beautifully.

9. Consider the following statements with reference to inequality in India.
  1. India has the lowest income inequality among all emerging economies.
  2. Its income inequality is lower than that in all the western developed countries.
  3. Income inequality in India has increased in the last decade.
Which of the above is/are true?
  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 4. All of the above
Solution: 3
Explanation: Refer to these two very important articles about inequality in India.

10. The Atal Pension Yojana launched in the Union Budget 2015-16 focuses on
  1. All citizens in the unorganized sector
  2. All income tax payer citizens
  3. Only BPL citizens in the unorganized sector
  4. All BPL citizens
Choose the correct answer from the codes below.
  1. 1 and 4 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 4 only
Solution: 1
To address the longevity risks among the workers in unorganized sector and to encourage the workers in unorganized sector to voluntarily save for their retirement
The APY is focussed on all citizens in the unorganized sector. All bank account holders may
join APY. APY is applicable to all citizen of India aged between 18-40 years.
The scheme is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through NPS architecture.
Under the APY, there is guaranteed minimum monthly pension for the subscribers ranging
between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 5000 per month. GoI will also co-contribute 50% of the
subscriber’s contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower. Government co-contribution is available for those who are not covered by any Statutory Social Security
Schemes and is not income tax payer. The pension is guaranteed by GoI.

11. What are the definition of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises?

Monday, 29 June 2015


Economics and Current Affairs

1. Which of the following is/are considered as “secondary sector”?
  1. Manufacturing
  2. Mining and Quarrying
  3. Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
  4. Construction
Select the correct code
  1. 1, 2 and 4 only
  2. 1, 3 and 4 only
  3. 2 and 4 only
  4. 1 and 2 only
Solution: 2
Explanation: Generally all economic activities divided into eight different industrial divisions.

They are (i) Agriculture (ii) Mining and Quarrying (iii) Manufacturing (iv) Electricity, Gas and
Water Supply (v) Construction (vi) Trade (vii) Transport and Storage and (viii) Services.
For simplicity, these divisions can be clubbed into three major sectors viz., (a) primary sector which includes (i) and (ii) , (b) secondary sector which includes (iii), (iv) and (v) and (c) service sector which includes divisions (vi), (vii) and (viii)

Agriculture sector in 2014-15
During the Tenth Plan, the contribution of agriculture and allied sectors to the GDP (at 2004-
05 prices) of the country was 19 per cent and it declined to 15.2 per cent during the Eleventh Plan. Its share in GDP was 18 percent in 2013-14.

Manufacturing Sector
As per recently released national accountsdata, with 2011-12 as the base year, industrial
growth was much better in 2012-13 and 2013-14 at 2.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively than earlier estimated, with 2004-05 as the base year. Industry accounts for 26% of GDP and employs 22% of the total workforce.

Service sector in 2014-15
India’s services sector remains the major driver of economic growth contributing 72.4 per
cent of GDP growth in 2014-15. Services-sector growth has increased from 8.0 per cent in 2012- 13 to 9.1 per cent in 2013-14 and further to 10.6 per cent in 2014-15.
The services sector is the dominant sector in most states of India with a share of more than
40 per cent in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) in 2013-14 except for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim (Figure 7.1). Chandigarh is at the top with a share of 88.4 per cent followed by Delhi with 87.7 per cent. The major services in most of the states with high share are trade, hotels, and restaurants followed by real estate, ownership of
dwellings and business services. Banking and insurance has an important share only in a few states/ union territories (UT) like Delhi, Maharashtra, and Chandigarh. In 2013-14, Bihar
had the highest services growth of 17.3 per cent and Uttarkhand the lowest of 5.5 per cent. Bihar has been consistently showing double-digit growth in the services sector in the last five years due to high growth in trade, hotels, and restaurants.

2. The difference between the market prices and factor cost is equal to
1. Indirect taxes paid
2. Subsidies received
3. Capital consumption
4. Indirect tax paid minus subsidies received

Solution: 4
Explanation: Basically, ‘factor cost’ is the ‘input cost’ the producer has to incur in the process of producing something (such as cost of capital i.e. interest on loans, raw materials, labour, rent, power, etc.). This is also termed as ‘factory price’ or ‘production cost/price’. This is nothing but ‘price’ of the commodity from the producer’s side. While the ‘market prices’ is derived after adding the indirect taxes to the factor cost of the product, it means the cost at which the goods reach the market i.e. showrooms (these are the Cenvat/central excise and the CST which are paid by the producers to the Central government in India).

3. Recently union government made some changes to the GDP calculation method. Which of the following is/are correct with regards to these changes?
1. The base year for the calculation of GDP was changed to 2011-12 from 2004-05.
2. GDP will be measured by using gross value added (GVA) at market price, rather than
factor cost.
3. The change in method of calculation has brought Indian GDP calculations more in line
with global practice.
Select the correct code-
1. 1 and 3 only
2. 1 and 2 only
3. 2 and 3 only
4. All of the above

Solution: 4
Explanation: Earlier, in India, income is calculated at factor cost, and so is the case with most of the developing countries. The reasons are – lack of uniformity in taxes, goods are not printed with their prices, etc.

4. Which one of the following statement is true?
1. GDP is always greater then GNP
2. GDP is always lower than GNP
3. GDP is equal to GNP when “income from Abroad” is zero
4. GDP is equal to GNP when “depreciation” is zero

Solution: 3
Explanation: Gross National Product (GNP) is the GDP of a country added with its ‘income from abroad’. The items which are counted in the segment ‘Income from Abroad’ are:
1. Trade Balance: the net outcome at the year end of the total exports and imports of a
country may be positive or negative accordingly added with the GDP.
2. Interest of External Loans: the net outcome on the front of the interest payments i.e.
balance of the inflow (on the money lend out by the economy) and the outflow (on the
money borrowed by the economy) of the external interests.
3. Private Remittances: the net outcome of the money which inflows and outflows on
account of the ‘private transfers’.
The balance of all the three components of the ‘Income from Abroad’ segment may turn out to be positive or negative. Thus relationship between GDP and GNP depends on the net value of income from abroad. When the income from abroad is zero GDP is equal to GNP.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of the all final goods and services produced within the boundary of a nation during one year. For India, this calendar year is from 1st April to 31st March. It will be better to understand the terms used in the concept, ‘gross’ means same thing to Economics and Commerce as ‘total’ means to Mathematics; ‘domestic’ means all the economic activities done inside the boundary of the nation/country and by its own capital; ‘product’ is word to define ‘goods and services’ together; and ‘final’ means the stage of a product after which there is no known chance of value addition in it.

The different uses of the concept GDP are as given below:
(i) Per annum percentage change in it is the ‘growth rate’ of an economy. For example, if a
country has a GDP of Rs. 107 which is 7 rupees higher than the last year, it has a growth rate of 7 per cent. When we use the term ‘a growing’ economy, it means that the economy is adding up its income i.e. in quantitative terms.
(ii) It is a ‘quantitative’ concept and its volume/size indicates the ‘internal’ strength of the
economy. But it does not say anything about the ‘qualitative’ aspects of the produced goods
and services by the economy.
(iii) It is used by the IMF/WB in the comaparative analyses of its member nations.

Method of Calculating GDP = C+I+G+(X-M)

NDP = GDP - Depreciation

The different uses of the concept of NDP are as given below:
(a) For domestic use only – to understand the historical situation of the loss due to depreciation to the economy. Also used to understand and analyse the sectoral situation of depreciation in industry and trade in comparative periods.
(b) To show the achievements of the economy in the area of research and development which have tried cutting the levels of depreciation in a historical time period.
However, NDP is not used in comparative economics, i.e., to compare the economies of the world. Why this is so? This is due to different rates of depreciation which is set by the different economies of the world.

Ultimately, the balance of all the three components of the ‘Income from Abroad’ segment may turn out to be positive or negative. In India’s case it has been always negative (due to heavy outflows on account of trade deficits and interest payments of the foreign loans). It means, the ‘Income from Abroad’ is subtracted from India’s GDP to calculate its GNP.
The normal formula is GNP = GDP + Income from Abroad. But it becomes GNP = GDP + (– Income from Abroad) = GDP – Income from Abroad, in the case of India. This means that India’s GNP is always lower than its GDP.

The different uses of the concept GNP are as given below:
(a) This is the ‘national income’ according to which the IMF ranks the nations of the world in terms of the volumes – at the Purchasing Power Parity (at PPP). India is ranked as the 3rd largest economy of the world (after the USA and China; Japan - 4th. India overcome Japan in 2014 according to World Bank's report)- while as per the nominal/ prevailing exchange rate of rupee India is the 13th largest economy.
(b) It is the more exhaustive concept of national income than the GDP as it indicates about the ‘quantitative’ as well as the ‘qualitative’ aspect of the economy, i.e., the ‘internal’ as well as the ‘external’ strength of the economy.
(c) It enables us to learn several facts about the production behaviour and pattern of an economy, such as, how much the outside world is dependent on its product and how much it depends on the world for the same (numerically shown by the size and net flow of its ‘trade balance’); what is the standard of its human resource in international parlance (shown by the size and the net flow of its ‘private remittances’); what position it holds regarding financial support from and to the world economies (shown by the net flow of ‘interests’ on external lending/borrowing).

NNP = GNP – Depreciation
NNP = GDP + Income from Abroad – Depreciation
The different uses of the concept NNP are as given below:
(a) This is the ‘National Income’ (NI) of an economy. Though, the GDP, NDP and GNP, all are ‘national income’ they are not written with capitalised ‘N’ and ‘I’.
(b) This is the purest form of the income of a nation.
(c) When we divide NNP by the total population of nation we get the ‘per capita income’ (PCI) of that nation i.e. ‘income per head per year’. A very basic point should be noted here that this is the point where the rates of dipreciation followed by the different nations make a
difference. Higher the rates of depreciation lower the PCI of the nation (whatever be the
reason for it- logical or artificial as in the case of depreciation being used as a tool of policymaking).
Though, economies are free to fix any rate of depreciation for the different assets the
rates fixed by them make difference when the NI of the nations are compared by the
international financial institutions like the IMF, WB, ADB, etc.
Note: National Income is the NNP at factor cost.

5. Consider the following statements regarding the “GDP deflator”.
1. GDP deflator is a comprehensive measure of inflation.
2. The GDP deflator is based on a fixed basket of goods and services.
Which of the above statement is/are correct?
1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

Solution: 1
Explanation: Unlike other price indexes, the GDP deflator is not based on a fixed basket of goods and services. It covers the whole economy. In economics, the GDP deflator (implicit price deflator) is a measure of the level of prices of all new, domestically produced, final goods and services in an economy.
Like the consumer price index (CPI), the GDP deflator is a measure of price inflation/deflation with respect to a specific base year; the GDP deflator of the base year itself is equal to 100. 

6. Which of the following is not a feature of “capitalist economy”?
1. Ownership of means of production is with the private
2. A great part of the production is used for private consumption
3. Labour services are purchased and sold at a price
4. Production takes place for selling the output in the market

Solution: 2
Explanation: A capitalist economy can be defined as an economy in which most of the
economic activities have the following characteristics (a) there is private ownership of means of production (b) production takes place for selling the output in the market (c) there is sale and purchase of labour services at a price which is called the wage rate (the labour which is sold and purchased against wages is referred to as wage labour).

7. Consider the following statements regarding Gross Domestic Production.
1. It is a ‘quantitative’ concept which indicates the internal strength of the economy.
2. It is used by IMF/WB in the comparative analyses of its member nations.
3. GDP is widely criticized for not considering ‘qualitative’ aspect of the economy.
Which of the following is/are correct?
1. 1 and 3 only
2. 1 and 2 only
3. 1 only
4. All of the above

Solution: 4
Explanatio: It is a ‘quantitative’ concept and its volume/size indicates the ‘internal’ strength of the economy. But it does not say anything about the ‘qualitative’ aspects of the produced
goods and services by the economy. It is used by the IMF/WB in the comparative analyses of its member nations.

8. Consider the following statements regarding purchasing power parity.
1. It is a technique used to determine the relative value of different currencies.
2. This concept works on the assumption that markets work on the law of one price.
3. This is a popular method used by the IMF and WB in studying the living standards of
people in different economies.
Which of the following is/are correct?
1. 1 and 2 only
2. 1 and 3 only
3. 1 only
4. All of the above

Solution: 4
Explanatio: Law of one price, i.e., identical goods and services (in quantity as well as quality) must have the same price in different markets when measured in a common currency.

9. Consider the following statements with respect to state economy.
1. Socialist & Communist economies are the forms of state economy
2. Planning is the central theme of state economy.
3. India at present is pursuing state economy.
Which of the following is/are correct?
1. 1 and 2 only
2. 2 and 3 only
3. 1 and 3 only
4. All of the above
Slution 1
Explanation: India presently follows mixed economy.

10. Company ‘X’ is headquartered at Delhi, India and it has a production facility at Beijing,
China. The output of production facility is part of China’s ____. The profits of the company
which are repatriated to the India are part of India’s ____.

Solution: 1

11. Human Development Index comprises literacy rates, life expectancy at birth and
  1. Gross Domestic Product per head in US dollars
  2. Gross Domestic Product per head
  3. Gross National Product in US dollars
  4. National Income(NNP) per head in US dollars.
Solution: 4
Explanation: Norway - 0.944 at the top of HDI report.
Australia - 0.933 at 2nd rank.
India - 0.586; rank at 135; in the category of Medium Human Development

Current Affairs

12. Suppose you hold license in Mining sector in India. Consider the following statement/s
1. Mining leases can be granted to you up to 50 years except for atomic minerals.
2. Seeing your productive performance, Central government may permit you to acquire
one or more licences or leases covering additional area.
Select the correct code-
1. Only 1
2. Only 2
3. Both
4. None
Solution: 4
Explanation: Recently, Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2015 was passed. So a tricky questions to check your concepts 
Read this- Maximum area for mining: Under the Act, a person could acquire one mining lease for a maximum area of 10 sq km. However, for the development of any mineral, the central government could permit the person to acquire one or more licenses or leases covering additional area. The Bill amends this provision to allow the central government to increase the area limits for mining, instead of providing additional leases.
Lease period: Under the Act, a mining lease was granted for a maximum of 30 years and a
minimum of 20 years and could be renewed for a period not exceeding 20 years. Under the Bill, the lease period for coal and lignite remains unchanged. For all minerals other than coal, lignite and atomic minerals, mining leases shall be granted for a period of 50 years. All mining leases granted for such minerals before the Bill, shall be valid for 50 years. On expiry of the lease, instead of being renewed, the leases shall be put up for auction, as specified in the Act.

13. Which among the following are called ‘Notified Minerals’?
1. Bauxite
2. Iron ore
3. Coal
4. Uranium
5. Limestone
6. Manganese ore
Select the correct ones
1. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
2. 1, 2, 5 and 6
3. 2, 3, 4 and 5
4. 3, 4, 5 and 6

Solution: 2
Explanation: Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill adds a new Fourth
Schedule to the Act. It includes bauxite, iron ore, limestone and manganese ore and are
defined as notified minerals. The central government may, by notification, amend this

14. Consider the following statements w.r.t Enforcement Directorate
1. It looks after investigation cases related to Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999
and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, PMLA
2. It falls under Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure
3. ED can arrest the offenders in relation to PMLA offence
Select the correct code
1. 1 and 2
2. 2 and 3
3. 1 and 3
4. All

Solution: 3
Explanation: ED is in news for quite a long time. Prepare about it. It is part of Department of Revenue not Expenditure. 

15. Which of the following treaties are related to Nuclear Weapons?
1. Antarctica Treaty
2. Seabed Treaty
4. NPT
Select the correct code
1. 1, 4, 5
2. 3, 4 and 5
3. 1, 2,3,4 and 5
4. 2, 3 and 4

Solution: 3
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed between the US and Soviet Union in July 1991. In summary, START I limited the number of heavy bombers (the large aircraft able to carry heavier bombs including nuclear ones), intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), to 1,600 in total. These delivery systems were then limited to deploying no more than 6,000 nuclear warheads in all.
The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) or Moscow Treaty entered into force in June 2003 to limit the numbers of operationally deployed nuclear warheads by the US and Russia to 1,700-2,200 apiece.
Antarctica Treaty:  In June 1961 the Antarctica Treaty established the use of this continent as only for peaceful purposes and it must be free from nuclear weapons deployment and testing.
Seabed Treaty : The Seabed Treaty entered into force in May 1972 with the purpose of forbidding the sitting of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction on the seabed or ocean floor over 12 miles away from any coastal zone.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Daily News Mail - News of 26/06/2015

China, India fast-track BCIM economic corridor project
  • China and India are adding fresh momentum to the establishment of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor, which is expected to develop gradually before more ambitious goals are achieved.
  • Chinese officials acknowledge that unlike in the past, when it was perceived to be dragging its feet, India is now showing enthusiasm over the project, which will link Kolkata with Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province, passing through Myanmar and Bangladesh, with Mandalay and Dhaka among the focal points. The focus on linking provinces and States — in this case, Yunnan and West Bengal — seems to have given a new impulse to galvanising the plan.
  • The main artery of the 2,800-km, K (Kolkata)-2-K (Kunming) corridor is nearly ready. A stretch of less than 200 km, from Kalewa to Monywa in Myanmar, needs to be upgraded as an all-weather road.

BCIM Economic Crridor
  • The Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor will increase socioeconomic development and trade in South Asia. The initiative seeks to improve connectivity and infrastructure, energy resources, agriculture, and trade and investment. It will connect India’s Northeast, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Chinese province of Yunnan through a network of roads, railways, waterways, and airways under a proper regulatory framework. The current focus of BCIM talks is on an inter-regional road network. This makes sense, as roads are the cheapest route of trade.
  • The first ever BCIM car rally was held between Kolkata and Kunming via Dhaka in Feb, 2013 to highlight road connectivity in the four countries.
  • The economic advantages of the BCIM trade corridor are considerable, most notably: access to numerous markets in Southeast Asia, improvement of transportation infrastructure and creation of industrial zones.
  • Through linking the ASEAN Free Trade Area, ASEAN-China Free Trade Area and the ASEAN-India Free Trade Area, the corridor would constitute as one of the largest free trade areas. Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar hope to create a corridor that would effectively combine road, rail, water and air linkages in the region.This will also bolster foreign trade of the BCIM countries and empower bilateral trading.
Biggest share for education in AAP govt’s first budget
  • Presenting its first full-fledged “Swaraj Budget” after being elected to power, the Aam Aadmi Party government on Thursday announced a significant increase in the outlay for social sectors, including education and health.
  • Education sector has seen an increase of 106 per cent, while the health budget has gone up by 45 per cent. Transport, which used to get maximum budgetary allocation till last year, has slipped to third position with 20 per cent share.
  • Luxury and entertainment taxes have gone up, though value added tax (VAT) has remained unchanged.
  • Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, presenting the Rs. 41,129-crore Budget in the Delhi Assembly, claimed that this was the country's first “Swaraj Budget” based on the inputs of the people.
  • Mr. Sisodia flayed the Union government's approach in the financial sector, depriving the Capital of its legitimate dues from the share of Central taxes. He said while Delhi contributes Rs.1,30,000 crore as taxes, it gets merely Rs. 325 crore as its share, in a clear indication of “step-motherly treatment” meted out to it.
  • The enhanced outlay for education will be utilised for opening 236 schools this year besides expansion in vocational education and skill development, while the increase in the outlay for health will be devoted mainly to the enhancement of hospital bed capacity.
  • A new pollution cess has been introduced in this year's Budget. Each four-wheel commercial truck will be charged Rs. 500 per entry to the city to curb environmental damage. However, this may lead to increase in the prices of vegetables and other basic commodities.
Housing, urban schemes give primacy to people’s vision
Modi launches Housing for All and Smart Cities mission
  • Launching flagship programmes for urban development and housing on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only sought to give more powers to the States but also called for giving residents the mandate to decide how urban areas should emerge.
  • At the launch of the Housing for All, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities schemes, he said it was the first time that residents were being challenged to formulate a development vision for their cities. The competitive mechanism would end the top-down approach and lead to people-centric urban development.
  • Under AMRUT, 500 cities is targeted for development, the Smart Cities scheme will target development of 100 cities over five years and Housing for All envisages construction of two crore houses in urban areas in seven years.
AMRUT and Smart Cities
Cabinet clears proposal for (1) 100 smart cities (48,000 crore) (2) AMRUT mission for 500 cities, replacing JNNURM (50,000 crores). ⇒ <–AMRUT–>⇒ Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for 500 cities with population of over 1 lakhAMRUT will replace Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Union will not appraise each and every project, it will be left to the discretion of state governments. ⇒ If previous JNNURM projects have complete 50% of work, then they too will be funded by AMRUT. <—>Smart cities: Each State will shortlist smart city aspirants. They’ll draft proposals & union will release funds in such manner that all States will get at least one such smart city. Total 100 smart cities planned. ⇒ 10% bonus fund will be given depending on performance. Criticism: ⇒ must focus on “RURBAN” mission first, to reduce migration towards cities. Otherwise better cities =more migration = again filth, congestion, slums =back to square one ⇒ Better just focus on three things: transportation, e-governance and easy land titling. ⇒ Urban development ministry tries to give parameters like speed of public transport network, availability of potable water, shops and recreational places in the vicinity etc. But lack of common definition on what constitutes a smart city?

"Housing for all by 2022"
“Housing for All by 2022” programme for the rehabilitation of slum-dwellers and promotion of affordable housing for the urban poor. The target is to provide nearly 20 million houses over seven years.

Don’t take away our autonomy: IIMs
  • After vocal criticism of the Institutes of Management Bill, 2015, drafted by the Human Resource Development Ministry, Ashish Nanda, Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has written to the Ministry, cautioning it against introducing several key provisions aimed at taking away the autonomy of the institutes.
  • The Ministry has received the letter dated June 24 in which Mr. Nanda has flagged several issues arising from the provisions, some of which, he says, must be deleted and some amended. Mr. Nanda’s suggestions are premised on the autonomy of the IIMs.
  • IIM-Bangalore Director Pankaj Chandra says he wants the Bill “to be done away with”. Mr. Chandra says the very introduction of the Bill is problematic as it raises serious questions about the standard and quality of the IIMs.
  • “Have the IIMs performed badly? Do they require to be regulated when they are already governed by the Memorandum of Association?” he asks.
  • Mr. Chandra says the fact that the government is thinking of a Bill to regulate the institutions implies that the IIMs are not up to the mark. “Somebody needs to explain why the autonomy promised in the MOA is being taken away?”
  • He makes out a strong case for autonomy when he says the IIM Board should choose the Director and the institutes should be Board-governed. He questions the need to do away with diplomas currently awarded by the IIMs and introduce degrees. Diplomas awarded by the IIMs are recognised worldwide, he says.
  • Mr. Nanda’s letter focusses on rules for appointing the chairperson, powers of the Board, terms and condition of the service of the Director and allowances to the Coordination Forum, which unequivocally places all relevant powers with the Central government. These provisions coming under Subsection 35 (2) in the proposed Bill should be deleted, he says.
  • Mr. Nanda expresses concern at the overarching government control, evident in the use of the word regulation, which, he writes, needs to be done away with.
  • Particularly worrying are the clauses in the draft Bill that give powers currently held by the individual IIM Boards to the government, the letter points out.
  • The draft rules propose that regulations made by the Board must have the approval of the Central government. The sweeping government control, the letter says, will extend to an entire range of strategic and operational decisions of the institutes — that range from admission of candidates to various programmes, determining posts and emoluments of faculty and staff, formation of departments, establishment and maintenance of buildings, determining directors’ powers and responsibilities, conferring powers on the academic council and in fact, the very constitution of the Board requires prior government approval.
  • Mr. Nanda recommends doing away with the clause “with the approval of Central government”, substituting it instead with the following, “regulations’ means regulations made by the Board”.
  • The proposed Act also vests the appointment of chairperson with the government, which provision the IIM-A Director wanted deleted.
“Child labour increased by 53 per cent in urban India”
  • At a time when Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has supported the controversial amendment to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act which allows children under 14 years of age to work in family-run enterprises, a recently-concluded analysis by Child Rights and You (CRY) revealed that there has been a significant increase in working children in the age group of 5-9 years.
  • Compiling data from the 2001 and 2011 census, the report states that in urban areas while the number of working girls rose by 240 per cent, it increased by 154 per cent for working boys. Overall, there has been a 53 per cent increase in child labour in urban India, while there is a drop of about 29 per cent in rural areas.
  • “Society is largely to blame for the increase in working children in urban areas as most of the children work as domestic helps,” chairperson of the West Bengal State Commission of Protection of Child Rights Ashokendu Sengupta told The Hindu .
  • “This increase in urban child labour could be attributed to increased migration, including seasonal migration for employment as well as trafficking of unaccompanied minors,” director, policy and research, CRY, Komal Ganotra said.
6.5 lakh people give up LPG subsidy
  • More than 6.5 lakh people nationwide have surrendered their subsidy for gas cylinders after the Union government launched its “Give it Up” campaign, a top petroleum company official said here on June 25.
  • At the national council meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry, S. Varadarajan, chairman, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., said “This has led to Rs. 300 crore in savings, but the government, rather than retaining the money, is transferring the subsidised cylinders to rural India where people’s health suffers because of the burning of wood or coal for cooking. We are requesting more people to surrender the subsidies, if you can, so that the weaker section can benefit.”
  • Mr. Varadarajan said the PAHAL scheme for direct benefit transfers benefited close to 130 million households which received the gas subsidy in their bank accounts in 100 days.
  • “Within four months, the scheme had 86 per cent of customer population covered, totalling 135 million households. The long-term vision under PAHAL is to provide the benefit of the received subsidy to 130 million rural households which do not have access to LPG, a cleaner medium for cooking,” he said.
BRICS bank to start by April
  • New Development Bank (NDB), also known as the BRICS Bank, is expected commence operations and start financing projects by April 2016, said its first President K.V. Kamath at the CII National Council Meeting here on Thursday. The bank would introduce capital market products and would be open for equity infusion.
  • Mr. Kamath, former Chairman of ICICI Bank and Infosys Ltd., will take over as the head of the multilateral development institution in July at Shanghai in China.
  • NDB, founded by the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has now decided to expand its scope of operations to other member nations as well. The word BRICS was not included in the name to allow new partner countries to join the club of emerging economies going forward.
  • “I hope to work with BRICS and other member-countries over the next few months so as to build project pipelines by April 2016. I am engaged with the government to ensure that there are some Indian projects in the infrastructure space that can be taken up then,” Mr Kamath told members of CII.
  • He said the bank would be different from other institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. It would have a different mindset and be a lot more flexible in its operations, he added.
  • “An important aspect will be with regard to the speed of lending. Currency diversification will be kept in mind while funding. There will be no pro-rating for funding and assistance will be provided to founding-countries as well as member-countries,” he said.
  • Mr Kamath said the NDB would have Vice-Presidents from three other nations. The Charter for the bank had been drawn, and it would be mostly be on the lines of the World Bank, ADB and private multilateral lenders, he said.