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UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 10th June 2022

CURRENT AFFAIRS

 

TOPICS:

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

GS II Global Groupings and Agreements

RBI raises rates to tame inflation

GS III Indian economy and planning

Scheme helped poor live with dignity

GS II Issues relating to Poverty and Hunger.

India and Vietnam sign mutual logistics agreement

GS II International Relations

Biotech sector grew 8 fold: PM

GSIII Science and Technology

 

 

Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)

Context:

In a message aimed at China blocking India’s membership at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on June 7 said that India looks forward to joining the NSG, overcoming “political impediments”.

About NSG:
  • The NSG was founded in response to the Indian nuclear test in May 1974 and first met in November 1975.
  • It has also been referred to as the London Group, or the London Suppliers Group.
  • Nations already signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) saw the need to further limit the export of nuclear equipment, materials or technology.
  • The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a multilateral export control regime and a group of nuclear supplier countries that seek to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons
  • NSG has 48 participating governments
India’s case
  • USA, France, UK, Russia, Switzerland and Japan are backing for India’s inclusion in Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • However, China is opposing India’s membership citing Pakistan’s non-admission in the exclusive group.
  • Other countries opposing Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the basis of NPT non-signatory status of India included Ireland and Austria.

 

RBI raises rates to tame inflation

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on Wednesday voted unanimously to raise the repo rate by 50 basis points to 4.90% in a bid to slow inflation which it estimates will average 7.5% in the current April June quarter.

  • The RBI’s move will increase borrowing costs across the board, from those seeking loans to buy cars and homes, to MSME firms looking to raise capital.
  • Inflation has steeply increased much beyond the upper tolerance level.
  • A large part of the rise in inflation is primarily attributed to a series of supply shocks linked to the war [in Ukraine].
  • About 75% of the increase in inflation projections could be attributed to the food Group
  • For example: the recent spike in tomato prices were added to food inflation
  • The RBI’s decision to raise the benchmark interest rate will make home loans costlier and affect housing sales, especially in the affordable and mid income segments.
India’s position in facing these challenges:
  • According to RBI, The banking sector remains resilient and strong Overall, the macroeconomic numbers also broadly look alright
  • Depreciation of the Indian rupee: So far it had been among the better performing currencies in its peer group in emerging market nations and others.
  • The fiscal deficit [target] which was there in the Budget for the last year has been achieved.
  • The disbursal of bank credit is also picking up.
  • Rural and urban demand are also showing signs of further improvement.
About Monetary Policy Committee (MPC):
  • The Monetary Policy Committee is responsible for fixing the benchmark interest rate in India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is vested with the responsibility of conducting monetary policy. This responsibility is explicitly mandated under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934
  • The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee are held at least 4 times a year
  • The committee comprises six members – three officials of the Reserve Bank of India and three external members nominated by the Government of India.
  • Decisions are taken by majority with the Governor having the casting vote in case of a tie.

 

Govt. scheme helped poor live with dignity’

Context:

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) has reduced the probability of people consuming less food by 76% and cutting down on the usage of utilities by 75%, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday, citing an independent study.

Overall, the study showed that assistance under the PMGKY reduced the probability of borrowing money for 67% of all the respondents, so they lived their lives with dignity.

About The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana
  • This scheme came into effect in 2016.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana / Package is a comprehensive relief package of Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus.
  • This was announced in March 2020, to reach out to the poorest of the poor, with food and money in hands, so that they do not face difficulties in buying essential supplies and meeting essential needs.
  • The package included the measures listed hereunder from 30th March 2020.
  • 80 crore poor people will to get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month for the next three months extended to November 2021
  • 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders to get Rs 500 per month for next three months
  • Increase in MNREGA wage to Rs 202 a day from Rs 182 to benefit 13.62 crore families
  • An ex-gratia of Rs 1,000 to 3 crore poor senior citizen, poor widows and poor disabled
  • Central Government has given orders to State Governments to use Building and Construction Workers Welfare Fund to provide relief to Construction Workers

 

India and Vietnam sign mutual logistics agreement

Context:

India and Vietnam on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual logistics support during the ongoing visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to the Southeast Asian nation.

Importance of this agreement
  • The Defence Ministers signed the ‘Joint Vision Statement on India Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’.
  • Which will significantly enhance the scope and scale of existing defence cooperation.
  • This is a major step towards simplifying procedures for mutually beneficial logistic support.
  • It is the first such major agreement which Vietnam has signed with any country.
  • Both the countries close defence and security cooperation is an important factor of stability in the Indo Pacific region.
About Logistic agreement:
  • India has signed several logistics agreements including with all Quad countries, France, Singapore and South Korea beginning with the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement with the U.S. in 2016.
  • Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel.
  • Provisions on mutual agreement simplifying logistical support.
  • Increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India.
Other issues
  • Both Ministers also agreed for early finalisation of $US 500 million Defence Line of Credit extended to Vietnam.
  • India on Thursday formally handed over the 12 high speed guard boats constructed under the Union government’s $100million defence Line of Credit (LoC) to Vietnam
  • Indian government announced gifting two simulators and monetary grant towards setting up of Language and IT Lab at Air Force Officers Training School for capacity building of Vietnamese armed forces.

India and Vietnam share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since 2016 and defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership. Vietnam is an important partner in India’s Act East policy.

To check china’s influence in South China Sea, partnering with Vietnam is key.

 

Biotech sector grew 8 fold: PM

Context:

India’s bio economy has grown eightfold in the past eight years and the country was close to being among the top biotechnology countries in the world, Prime Minister of India said at the inauguration of the Biotech Startup Expo, 2022 here on Thursday.

  • We have grown from $10 billion to $80 billion.
  • India is not too far from reaching the league of top10 countries in Biotech’s global ecosystem

According to the PM, there were five big reasons why India is being considered a land of opportunities in the field of biotech.

  • First, its diverse population and diverse climatic zones.
  • Second, the country’s talented human capital.
  • Third, ease of doing business in India.
  • Fourth, the rising demand for bio products in India.
  • Fifth, India’s own biotech sector and its track record of success.

The major focus areas for the sector are health, agriculture, energy, natural farming and bio fortified seeds.

About the Biotech Startup Expo – 2022:
  • It is being organised by the Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • It is being held to mark the completion of ten years of setting up of BIRAC.
  • The theme of the Expo is ‘Biotech Startup Innovations: Towards Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’.
  • The Expo will act as a platform to connect entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, scientists, researchers, bio-incubators, manufacturers, regulators, government officials, etc.
  • About 300 stalls will be set up at the Expo, which will showcase the applications of biotechnology in various fields such as healthcare, genomics, bio pharma, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, waste-to-value, and clean energy, among others.

UPSC Civil Services Daily Current Affairs 10th June 2022

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