CURRENT AFFAIRS


11th Sep, 2020

 

Wireless fibre: Need of the hour

To bridge digital divide, such technologies such as wireless fibre need to be tapped into.

Wireless fibre uses a combination of fixed wireless, high speed microwave and fibre optic technology to deliver broadband directly to homes or businesses.

A small satellite is installed on a poll or your roof and a cable is connected to a router where you need internet connection

It bypasses miles of common underground fibre, copper, and cable infrastructure that often fail due to construction, flooding, or manhole accidents.

Most residential broadband today runs over cables that are laid in the ground or strung on telephone poles, that then branch off and tunnel directly into our houses.

Laying these cables is costly, that is why many Internet providers expand slowly if they’re worried the returns won’t justify the expansion.

Cell (mobile) towers are expensive, too, but they create a one-to-many connection that serves thousands of mobile devices wirelessly.

The speeds aren’t quite fast on mobile data but for basic Web browsing and video, it’s good enough.

 

Advantages of wireless fibre

Wireless fibre provides a fixed location such as a home or business with all the capacity of a mobile connection but without the need to plug a cable directly into the building.

It is a much cheaper way for Internet providers to extend their networks.

Wireless is also the most cost-effective as there is no need to alter surrounding infrastructure.

It allows multiple devices to connect from anywhere you need them to.

Wireless networks can potentially accommodate more users as they are not limited by a specific number of connection ports.


 

Pandemic may force the government to borrow more

Revenue shortfalls in India due to COVID-19 are likely to force the government to borrow more but it will only consider monetizing its deficit as a last resort.

Borrowing plans for the second half of the financial year will be reviewed by government and RBI officials letter September.

The possibility of monetizing the debt has already been discussed but not yet decided.

Earlier Government used to ‘Monetize the deficit’.

This practice was stopped in 1997 by signing an agreement between RBI and Govt. of India.

This was also included in the FRBM Act 2003.

Right now Government does not prefer deficit monetization but it can consider it as the last resort.

 

Deficit monetization leads to extra money reaching into the economy which leads to inflation and it also may lead to ‘Sovereign Ratings’ downgrade which then hurts investments in the country.

RBI can pump liquidity in economy through open market operation.

This will lead to decrease in interest rate (more money supply means less interest rate), which will basically help government in raising money from the market (‘deficit financing’ rather that ‘monetization of deficit’) at lesser interest rate.

 

Monetizing the Deficit/Monetizing the Debt/Deficit Monetization

It means that if Government has deficit, then it will ask RBI to print notes and give it to

Government and in return Government will give its Bonds to RBI.

So, it will be basically debt on Government.

Actually the word ‘monetize’ has relation with currency/notes/cash.

 

Deficit Financing

It generally means that Government is having deficit (expenses are more than receipts) and it will arrange for its financing of the deficit.

This deficit can be financed from market borrowing or borrowing from abroad or Government may ask RBI to finance its deficit by printing more money.

So, in deficit financing there can be various options to finance and one of the options could be from RBI by printing money.


 

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) launched

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana scheme was launched to bring about Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of fisheries sector in India was recently launched.

This scheme was first announced in Budget 2019-20 and then in Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

The PMMSY is an umbrella scheme with two separate Components: (a) Central Sector Scheme (CS) and (b) Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

Total estimated investment will be of Rs. 20,050 crores to be implemented over a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25.

Goal: To double the fish exports in the next 3 to 4 years i.e. by 2024-25.

Objective: (1) To address critical gaps in fish production and productivity; quality, technology, post-harvest infrastructure and management, modernization and strengthening of value chain, traceability, establishing a robust fisheries management framework and fishers’ welfare;

(2) Harnessing of fisheries potential in a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and equitable manner;

(3) enhancing contribution to Agriculture GVA and exports;

(4) Social, physical and economic security for fishers and fish farmers;

(5) Robust fisheries management and regulatory framework

Fisheries constitute 1.24% of National GDP and 7.28% of Agriculture GDP.


 

Swabhiman Anchal set to enjoy uninterrupted cellular service for the first time

Thousands of villagers in Odisha’s Malkangiri district are set to enjoy uninterrupted cellular service for the first time in their lives.

Due to threats from left wing extremists, mobile towers could not be installed until now in Swabhiman Anchal (formerly known as Cut-off area).

Swabhiman Anchal comprises 151 villages.

The area is surrounded by water on three sides and by inhospitable terrain on another.

It also became less remote after the construction of Gurupriya Bridge, which connected the zone with the rest of the State in 2018.

Disha accounts for the highest number of villages that do not have mobile phone service in India.


 

August rainfall in 2020 has been the highest since 1926

According the India Meteorological Department (IMD), August rainfall in 2020 has been the highest since 1926 with about 27% more than what is normal for the month.

Causes of heavy rainfall: Several long-lasting low-pressure systems or rain-bearing winds that formed in the Bay of Bengal. They were vigorous enough to travel all the way from the south-eastern coast up to north-west India.

The surplus rain was primarily in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Though August rainfall was in excess, the figure for this year’s monsoon as a whole were likely to be within the department’s June forecast of a normal (96 to 104% of the long period average) rainfall.

In the normal course, the monsoon begins its retreat from September 15 and this can go on for nearly a month.


NITI Aayog at an advanced stage for preparation of a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

NITI Aayog is at an advanced stage for preparation of a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) parameter dashboard to rank states and Union Territories, along with a State Reform Action Plan (SRAP).

As the Nodal agency for the MPI, NITI Aayog has constituted a Multidimensional Poverty Index Coordination Committee (MPICC).

The MPICC, chaired by Ms Sanyukta Samaddar, Adviser (SDG) has members from relevant Line Ministries and Departments.

The committee held its first meeting on September 2, 2020.

 

The Global MPI

The Global MPI is part of the government’s decision to monitor the performance of the country on 29 select global indices.

It is an international measure of multidimensional poverty covering 107 developing countries.

It was first developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and United Nations Development Programme.

It is released at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development of the United Nations in July, every year.

The dimensions of poverty range from deprivations of health facilities, education and living standards.

It is computed by scoring each surveyed household on 10 parameters based on -nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing and household assets.


Supreme Court stays reservation for the Maratha community

The Supreme Court has stayed reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions in Maharashtra.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao referred the case to a larger bench.

The Bench will consider the constitutional validity of 2018 Maharashtra government law providing reservation to Marathas in the State.

Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act originally provided 16% reservation for Maratha community in educational institutions and government jobs.

The law was challenged before Bombay High Court which in June 2019 upheld its validity but reduced the quota to 12% in educational institutions and 13% in jobs.

Appeals were filed before the SC stating that the reservation would lead to breach of the 50% cap laid down by the Apex Court in its 1992 judgment of Indra Sawhney versus Union of India.

Maharashtra government had on August 26, 2020, asked the SC to place the matter before a larger bench considering the fact that it involves determination of substantial legal questions.


 

e-GOPALA app

It provides platform to farmers in the country for:

  • Managing livestock including buying and selling of disease free germplasm in all forms (semen, embryos, etc);
  • Availability of quality breeding services (Artificial Insemination, veterinary first aid, vaccination, treatment etc);
  • Guiding farmers for animal nutrition, treatment of animals using appropriate ayurvedic medicine/ethno veterinary medicine.

There is a mechanism to send alert (on due date for vaccination, pregnancy diagnosis, calving etc) and inform farmers about various government schemes.

It also enables cattle owners to buy and sell animals through this app.

It will give farmers the freedom from middlemen and provide all information related to productivity, health and diet for the cattle.

 






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