Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

29th November 2019 Current Affairs

1. National Artificial Insemination Programme

  • The NAIP is a campaign mode genetic up gradation program covering all breeds of bovines to enhance the milk production using low cost breeding technology for improving genetic merit of milch animals with high quality seed.
  • The Programme will be implemented in 600 identified districts having less than 50% A.I coverage from 15th September 2019 to 15th March 2020 over a period of 6 months covering around 120 lakh breedable female bovine population, covering 100 villages and 200 animals per village.
  • Monitoring of the project and follow-up of all the animals covered under the programme shall be continued until calves are born.
  • All the animals covered under the programme shall be identified using UID and their data shall be uploaded on INAPH database.
  • All inseminated animals shall be given Animal health Card (Nakul Swasthya Patra).
  • After AI, the animal shall be followed up and all the events shall be recorded on the database till the birth of the calf.

2. Fifteenth finance commission gets extension by 11 months

  • Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to extend the term of 15th Finance Commission by 11 months to October 30, 2020. This is the second extension. After the first one, the term was to end on November 30.
  • The Commission will submit its interim report on Saturday, November 30, 2019. This will suggest formulae for tax devolution for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
  • Since the validity of previous formulae ends on March 31, 2020, and the Commission needs more time in the wake of the change of stature of Jammu & Kashmir, submission of an interim report was needed.
  • The statement also mentioned that the Terms of Reference for the commission are wide-ranging in nature. Comprehensively examining their implications and aligning them to the requirements of the States and the Central government will require additional time.
  • The proposed increase in coverage of the period for which the Commission’s recommendations are applicable, will help medium-term resource planning for the Centre and the State governments.
  • Making a five-year coverage available for the Commission beyond April 1, 2021, will help the Centre and the State governments design schemes with medium to long-term financial perspective and provide adequate time for mid-course evaluation and correction.

3. Accelerated labs

The united nation development program (UNDP)has launched its Accelerator Lab in India. The project has been launched in collaboration with the government’s Atal Innovation Mission and will look to solve issues through innovative solutions.


  • This lab will seek to address some of the most pressing issues facing India, such as air pollution, sustainable water management and client-resilient livelihoods through innovation.
  • The vision is to make faster progress in meeting the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the U.N. by 2030.

Accelerator Lab

  • The Accelerator Lab is an innovative new initiative by the UNDP, State of Qatar and the Federal Republic of Germany to find 21st century solutions to today’s complex new challenges.
  • India’s Accelerator Lab will be part of a network of 60 global labs covering 78 nations, that will test and scale new solutions to global challenges like climate change and inequality.
  • These Labs will identify grassroots solutions together with local actors and validate their potential to accelerate development.

4. Defense acquisition council

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the procurement of weapons and equipment worth ?22,800 crore.
  • The focus was on ‘Make in India’ initiative i.e. on indigenous design, development and manufacturing of weapons and equipment.
  • Thermal Imaging Night Sights for Assault Rifles: These would enable troops to undertake long range accurate engagements in dark and all weather conditions thereby enhancing the night fighting capabilities.
  • Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • These platforms would provide on-board command & control and ‘early warning’ which would assist the Indian Air Force (IAF) in achieving effective air space dominance in the least possible time.
  • Induction of these aircraft will greatly enhance both the Air defence and offensive capabilities of the IAF.
  • The shortage of such force multipliers was felt during the aerial engagement with the Pakistan Air Force, a day after the Balakot air strike in February, 2019.
  • P8I long range patrol aircraft for the Indian Navy: These aircraft would greatly strengthen the Navy’s capabilities for maritime surveillance, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Vessel (ASV) strike. These would be procured from the United States.
  • Twin Engine Heavy Helicopters (TEHH) for the Indian Coast Guard: These aircraft would enable the Coast Guard to undertake missions to prevent maritime terrorism, infiltration of terrorists by sea routes as well as search & rescue operations.

5. Shadow banking

Shadow banking is a term used to describe bank-like activities (mainly lending) that take place outside the traditional banking sector.

  • It is also referred as non-bank financial intermediation or market-based finance.
  • Generally, it is not regulated in the same way as traditional bank lending.
  • The term ‘shadow bank’ was coined by Paul McCulley in 2007.
  • Examples of shadow lenders include Special Purpose Entities, Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), Hedge Funds etc.

These institutions function as intermediaries between the investors and the borrowers, providing credit, thus, leading to financial inclusion and hence generate liquidity in the system.

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