|About Daily Homework for Prelims and Mains|
|1. Make a separate notebook for this section.|
|2. Write down the questions provided daily.|
|3. Try to dig out all the facts related to given questions.|
|4. Daily revise the notes before next target|
FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS COMBINED
Talks on for logistics deal with Russia
- India and Russia are in the process of concluding a logistics agreement, with both sides targeting to conclude consultations before the annual summit in October between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The proposed agreement follows a series of such agreements India has signed since the first logistics agreement with the U.S.
- The agreement with Russia will be on the lines of those signed with the U.S. and France.
Similar logistic agreements with other countries
- India signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA), with the U.S. in August 2016 after a decade of negotiations.
- Since then it has concluded several such agreements with France, Oman, Philippines, Singapore and for access to the Sabang port in Indonesia.
- Australia too has sent a draft agreement.
What is Logistic agreements
- Logistics agreements are administrative arrangements facilitating access to military facilities for exchange of fuel and provisions on mutual agreement simplifying logistical support and increasing operational turnaround of the military when operating away from India.
Conference on E- Mobility organised by Indian Railways & NITI Aayog
- A Conference on “E-Mobility in Indian Railways” organized by Ministry of Railways through Institution of Railways Electrical Engineers (IREE) in association with NITI Aayog concluded here today.
About the conference
- The conference was a pre-cursor to the “Move: Global Mobility Summit” organized by NITI Aayog on 7th and 8th Sept.’18.
- With increased urbanization in the country, its high time to pay more emphasis on E-mobility powered by clean energy to improve the living conditions.
- Solar is a sunrise industry with potential for huge employment opportunities and Indian Railways should become a growth engine in promoting electric mobility systems in the country, capture the global opportunities in this field and also become a model to the other nations.
- The need for more research in the energy storage technology for taking ahead renewable energy options further.
- Indian Railways should take benefit of the competitive pricing in the solar technology and maximize the solar power generation.
- The focus of E-mobility is moving towards electric driven vehicles from the traditional fossil based ones.
- The technological advancements and reduction in the costs is driving the world towards renewable energy, electric vehicles and against this background, this conference on E-Mobility is being organized by Indian Railways in association with NITI Aayog.
24th RCEP Auckland Round from 17-24th October 2018
- The 6th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting held on 30-31 August, 2018, in Singapore
- Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Suresh Prabhu, led the Indian delegation.
- The Ministers attending the meeting took stock of the state of negotiations across the various negotiating Groups and Sub-Working Groups.
About the outcome
- The 16-nation group accepted some key demands from India: on differential tariff regimes for different country groups like China, and in allowing a 20-year implementation period of the agreement.
- The RCEP negotiations will not end in 2018 that has been agreed at the level of the leaders. But it will go on in 2019 as well
The Package of Year End Deliverables
- The Ministers endorsed ‘The Package of Year End Deliverables’ and urged the negotiators to intensify their work with a view to narrowing gaps and finding balanced outcomes in the negotiations as it moves forward.
- A “package of substantial deliverables” would be agreed to in November this year, but not the preferential trade agreement, which has been negotiated for more than six years, itself.
- Earlier reports had indicated that India would face a stark choice between agreeing to end RCEP negotiations by a deadline at the end of 2018, or to step back from the negotiations, while other countries including the 10 ASEAN nations, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, went on.
- Another key area where India scored, according to officials, was in establishing a linkage between services and goods negotiations, given that some countries were not as welcoming of allowing movement of labour.
- RCEP stands for regional cooperation in economic partnership.
- It is not goods partnership alone… economic partnership envisages that services must be integral part of the trade. Separate negotiations
- Of the 16 countries that have been negotiating for the RCEP, India does not have Free Trade Agreements with three countries — Australia, New Zealand and China, for which negotiations will now be separately held, in a “bilateral pairing mechanism”.
- The Ministers directed that the negotiations on all these issues be intensified during the 24th RCEP Auckland Round from 17-24th October 2018.
- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is a mega regional free trade agreement being negotiated amongst 16 countries, comprising 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and six ASEAN FTA partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. So far 6 Ministerial Meetings, 5 Inter-sessional Ministerial Meetings and 23 Rounds of the Trade Negotiating Committee at the technical level have been held.
Google to help EC track political ads
- Google, which controls the lion’s share of the digital advertising market, will soon be helping the Election Commission (EC) keep tabs on online political advertising.
About how it will do
- The tech giant will develop a mechanism that will not only ensure pre-certification of political advertisements but also enable it to share with the authority details of the expenditure incurred on its platforms.
- A committee has been set up to explore possible modifications in Section 126 (election silence) and other provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, in view of the expansion and diversity of media platforms.
- Google representative told the Commission that the company would keep track of political advertisements and ensure that they were pre-certified by the Election Commission’s Media Certification and Monitoring Committees.
- This would entail Google asking prospective clients, whenever an order is placed, whether they have been pre-certified.
- The Commission is the nodal body for pre-certification of advertisements of a political nature, released by either an individual or an organisation.
- Google has also assured the committee that it would set up a mechanism for sharing information on the cost of the political advertisements.
- This would be of use to Returning Officers when it comes to calculating the election expenditure of individual candidates.
- As soon as someone is declared a candidate for any election, all the money spent by the person for campaigning gets added as election expenditure.
- The Commission also asks the candidates to declare their official social media accounts
- The EC’s committee had earlier held meetings with Facebook, which has also agreed to develop tools for removing any content pertaining to election matters during the 48-hour period when the ‘prohibition protocol’ is in place.
- It is working on ways to check fake news and share details of expenditure on poll-related advertisements.
GM mustard trials may get nod soon
- The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to decide on field-trial approvals for the controversial transgenic mustard developed by the University of Delhi’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP)
- The CGMCP had earlier applied to grow transgenic mustard (DMH-11) in plots in Delhi and Punjab to test the plant’s effects on honeybees after the GEAC, which had initially cleared the GM crop for “commercial cultivation”, backtracked and demanded more tests and additional data on honeybees and other pollinators and on soil microbial diversity.
About the earlier events
- The GEAC, the apex regulator of transgenic products, had in July put a decision on proposed field trials on hold after some members objected to the use of “unapproved pesticides/herbicides
- The CGMCP team had proposed to use endosulfan — a banned pesticide — as part of their experiment
- In March, the GEAC had sought more tests for GM mustard in the wake of a chorus of objections to the transgenic crop
- Environmentalists, farmer groups and some scientists argue that transgenic mustard poses several environmental and health risks.
- Among these is a contention that it contains a foreign gene from another species, that tests so far have failed to show any appreciable gains in yield over traditional varieties and that it could, if commercially approved, make farmers growing the GM crop dependent on glyphosate — a weedicide that has been linked to cancer.
- The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
- As per Rules, 1989, it is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
- The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the enviornment including experimental field trials.
- GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
- Presently, it has 24 members and meets every month to review the applications in the areas indicated above.
STATIC PORTION – GEOGRAPHY + ECONOMY
River System of India – Brahmaputra River System
|Prime Watershed of River Origin in India|
|River categories on the basis of their origin|
|Top 5 largest rivers of India||Ganga > Godavari > Krishna > Yamuna > Brahmaputra|
Brahmaputra River System
- Origin → Chemayungdung Glacier (Kailash Range, Tibet)
- In Tibet, known as TSANG – PO
- In China, known as YARLUNG ZANBO
- Forms grand canyon in Tibet
- Turns southward near Namcha – Barwa
- Enters Arunachal Pradesh as Dihang River at Sadiya, emerging from the mountains
- Joined by Dibang river from the north & Lohit river from the south → Known as Brahamputra
- Turns at Dhubri to enter into Bangladesh
- After joining Teesta, known as Jamuna in BD
- Joins Ganga & Megna → Merges to BOB
- Forms many river island of which Majuli is world 2nd largest one
- Major tributaries → Dihang, Lohit, Subansiri, Teesta, Meghna (Barack in Assam), Manas
Types of Budget
• Budget is an Annual Financial Statement of yearly estimated receipts and expenditures of the government in respect of every financial year.
• Budgeting is the process of estimating the availability of resources and then allocating them to various activities according to a pre-determined priority.
• Budgets act as instruments of control and act as a benchmark to evaluate the progress of various departments.
TYPES OF BUDGETING
• A performance budget reflects the goal/objectives of the organization and spells out its performance targets.
• These targets are sought to be achieved through a strategy. Unit costs are associated with the strategy and allocations are accordingly made for achievement of the objectives.
• A Performance Budget gives an indication of how the funds spent are expected to give outputs and ultimately the outcomes.
• However, performance budgeting has a limitation – it is not easy to arrive at standard unit costs especially in social programmes, which require a multi-pronged approach.
• The basic purpose of ZBB is phasing out of programmes/activities, which do not have relevance anymore. ZBB is done to overhaul the functioning of the government departments and PSUs so that productivity can be increased and wastage can be minimized. Scarce government resources can be deployed efficiently. Therefore, Zero Based Budgeting is followed for rationalization of expenditure.
• The concept of zero-based budgeting was introduced in the 1970s. As the name suggests, in the process every budgeting cycle starts from scratch.
• Unlike the earlier systems, where only incremental changes were made in the allocation, under zero-based budgeting every activity is evaluated each time a budget is made and only if it is established that the activity is necessary, funds are allocated to it.
• Under the ZBB, a close and critical examination is made of the existing government programmes, projects and other activities to ensure that funds are made available to high priority items by eliminating outdated programmes and reducing funds to the low priority items.
• Governmental programmes and projects are appraised every year as if they are new and funding for the existing items is not continued merely because a part of the project cost has already been incurred.
• Programme budgeting aimed at a system in which expenditure would be planned and controlled by the objective. The basic building block of the system was classification of expenditure into programmes, which meant objective-oriented classification so that programmes with common objectives are considered together.
Programme and Performance Budgeting System (PPBS)
• PPBS went much beyond the core elements of programme budgeting and was much more than the budgeting system. It aimed at an integrated expenditure management system, in which systematic policy and expenditure planning would be developed and closely integrated with the budget. Thus, it was too ambitious in scope.
• Neither was adequate preparation time given nor was a stage-by-stage approach adopted. Therefore, this attempt to introduce PPBS in the federal government in USA did not succeed, although the concept of performance budgeting and programme budgeting endured.
• Many governments today use the “programme budgeting” label for their performance budgeting system. As pointed out by Marc Robertson, the contemporary influence of the basic programme budgeting idea is much wider than the continuing use of the label. It is defined in terms of its core elements as mentioned above. Programme budgeting is an element of many contemporary budgeting systems which aim at linking funding and results.
• The Outcome Budget is a progress card on what various ministries and departments have done with the outlay announced in the annual budget.
• It is a performance measurement tool that helps in better service delivery; decision-making; evaluating programme performance and results; communicating programme goals; and improving programme effectiveness.
• The Outcome Budget is likely to comprise scheme- or project-wise outlays for all central ministries, departments and organizations during 2005-06 listed against corresponding outcomes (measurable physical targets) to be achieved during the year.
• It measures the development outcomes of all government programmes. The Outcome Budget, however, will not necessarily include information of targets already achieved.
• This method of monitoring flow of funds, implementation of schemes and the actual results of the usage of the money is followed by many countries.
• The 2005-06 Budget introduced a statement highlighting the gender sensitivities of the budgetary allocations.
• Gender budgeting is an exercise to translate the stated gender commitments of the government into budgetary commitments, involving special initiatives for empowering women and examination of the utilization of resources allocated for women and the impact of public expenditure and policies of the government on women.
BALANCED AND UNBLANCED BUDGETS
A. Balanced Budgeting
1. A Balanced Budget is that budget in which Government receipts are equal to Government expenditure.
Merits of the Balanced Budget
1. The Government does not indulge in wasteful expenditure.
2. Interference in economic functioning of the system is totally avoided by the government generally.
3. Financial stability is ensured with balanced budget.
4. However, balanced budget is not an achievement of the government when economy is in a state of depression for at that time, government is expected to increase its expenditure with a view to increasing aggregate demand.
Demerits of a Balanced Budget
1. Balanced budget does not offer any solution to the problem of unemployment during depression.
2. Balanced budget is not helpful to the growth and development programmes of the less developed countries.
B. Unbalanced Budgeting
1. An unbalanced budget is that budget in which receipts and expenditure of the government are not equal.
2. In this, two cases concerning surplus Budget and Deficit Budget arise.
3. In Surplus Budget, Government receipts are greater than Government expenditures. While in the case of Deficit Budget, Government expenditures are greater than Government receipts.
Merits of a Deficit Budget
(i) It helps in addressing the problem of unemployment during depressions.
(ii) It is conducive for growth and development in less developed countries
(iii) It works towards social welfare of the people.
Demerits of Deficit Budget
(i) It shows wasteful expenditure by the government.
(ii) It shows less revenue realization in comparison with the expenditure.
(iii) It increases debt burden of the government.