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Note:  The following Current affairs has been selected from AIR, PIB, PRS, BBC, The Hindu, IDSA (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses), Live mint, Indian Express, Quora.com, Hindustan Times, Telegraph, The Times , WTO, New Indian express , The Guardian and is highly recommended for UPSC Prelims and Mains Examination


News Analysis: 13-12-2018

National News

General Studies-II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Implementation of Swaminathan Committee Report

  • Government fixes-the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) of various agricultural crops on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP), after ascertaining the views of State Governments and Central Ministries/ Departments concerned.

  • While recommending MSPs, CACP considers the cost of production and host of factors such as demand-supply situation, trends in domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors and the likely impact of MSP on consumers and overall economy along with rational utilization of scarce natural resources like land and water.

  • National Commission on Farmers headed by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan submitted its report in 2006.

  • One of the recommendations of Commission was that MSP should be at least 50 percent more than the weighted average cost of production. This recommendation was not incorporated in the National policy for Farmers 2007.

  • However, recently Government has increased the MSP for all Kharif and Rabi crops and other commercial crops for the season 2018-19 with a return of atleast 50 percent over cost of production, which was a historic decision by the Government.

Source: PIB


General Studies-II : Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


SEZ Policy review committee report

  • The Government had constituted a Group of eminent persons under the Chairmanship of Baba Kalyani, Chairman M/s. Bharat Forge to study the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Policy of India on 04.06.2018.  The Group submitted its report to the Governmentlast month.

The key recommendations of the Group are as under:

  • Framework shift from export growth to broad-based Employment and Economic Growth (Employment and Economic Enclaves-3Es).

  • Formulation of separate rules and procedures for manufacturing and service SEZs.

  • Shift from supply driven to demand driven approach for 3Es development to improve efficiency of investment-based on certain industries, current level of existing inventory in the region.

  • Enabling framework for Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in 3Es in sync with State EoDB initiatives. One integrated online portal for new investments, operational requirements and exits related matters.

  • Enhance competitiveness by enabling ecosystem development by funding high speed multi modal connectivity, business services and utility infrastructure. Critical to provide support to create high quality infrastructure either within or linked to the zones eg. High Speed Rail, Express roadways, Passenger/Cargo airports, shipping ports, warehouses etc.

  • Promote integrated industrial and urban development- walk to work zones, States and center to coordinate on the frame work development to bring linkages between all initiatives.

  • Procedural relaxations for developers and tenants to improve operational and exit issues.

  • Extension of Sunset Clause and retaining tax or duty benefits.

  • Broad-banding definition of services/allowing multiple services to come together.

  • Additional enablers and procedural relaxations.

  • Unified regulator for IFSC.

  • Utilizing Multi Services SEZ IFSC for all the inbound and out bound investment of the country.

  • Incentives for availing services from IFSC SEZ by domestic institutions.

  • Extension of benefit under services Export incentives scheme.

  • Allowing alternate sectors to invest in sector specific SEZs/ 3Es.

  • Flexibility of long term lease for developers and tenants.

  • Facility of sub-contracting for customers outside 3Es/SEZs without any restriction or cap at any level.

  • Specified domestic supplies supporting ‘Make in India’ to be considered in NFE computation.

  • Export duty should not be levied on goods supplied to developers and used in manufacture of goods exported.

  • Flexibility in usage of NPA by developers and sale space to investors/ units.

  • Infrastructure status to improve access to finance and enable long term borrowing.

  • Promote MSME participation in 3Es and enable manufacturing enabling service players to locate in 3E.

  • Dispute resolution through arbitration and commercial courts.

Source: PIB


General Studies-III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Space Activities Bill

  • The Government has invited suggestions from the public or stakeholders regarding the draft Space Activities Bill, 2017.

  • The objective of the Space Bill is to facilitate the overall growth of the space activities in India with higher order of participation of public/ non-governmental/ private sector stakeholders.           

  • The Bill provides for establishment of a regulatory mechanism through an appropriate body, by the Central Government for the purpose of authorization and licensing of space activities.

  • The provision on liability for damages caused by space activities of licensee, provides for a risk sharing mechanism, by which the central Government may determine the quantum of liability to be borne by the licensee.  

Source: PIB


General Studies-III : Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


India gets submarine rescue system

  • The Indian Navy joined a select group of naval forces in the world on Wednesday when it inducted its first non-tethered Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) system at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

  • The DSRV is used to rescue crew members from submarines stranded under water in the high seas.

  • The DSRV can be operated at a depth of 650 metres and can rescue 14 people at a time.

  • The state-of-the-art system is also equipped with a decompression chamber that can accommodate submariners and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), which can be used to beam images and provide immediate assistance.

  • The Western Naval Command had recently successfully held trials with actual simulations with different classes of submarines.

  • The DSRV can also be transported by air, enabling it to conduct rescue operations across the globe.

Source: The Hindu


General Studies-III : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


IIP rises to 11-month high in October

  • Industrial production activity rose at almost a one-year high in October led by strong growth in the manufacturing and mining sectors even as retail inflation for November slowed to a 17-month low on cooling food prices, according to official data released on Wednesday.

  • Growth in the electricity sector touched 10.8% in October, up from the 8.24% in September. The last time growth in the sector hit double-digits was in April 2016.


Source: The Hindu


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