Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - August 2, 2017

Energy

Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR)

  • Electricity generated by FBR would be a source of green energy as the waste from the first stage nuclear programme is reprocessed and used as fuel in FBR
  • The spent fuel from this reactor can be fed back into the reactor core several times, till the spent fuel contains only short lived fission products.
  • Hence, there is no need of large quantity of fuel materials for the annual external feed and thus, eliminates the need for large capacity waste storage spaces with complex construction features.
  • Indigenously produced Mixed Uranium & Plutonium Oxide will be used as the fuel in the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor

Economy

Rbi Reduces Repo Rate By 25 Basic Points

  • In the third bimonthly policy review the Monetary Policy Committee of RBI has reduced repo rate by 25 basic points to 6%
  • The decision of the MPC was consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in accordance with the objective of achieving the medium term inflation target of 4% within a band of +/- 2%

Enlighten about Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

  • MPC is the committee of the central bank headed by its Governor.

Composition of MPC :
1. Governor of RBI(ex officio chairperson)
2. Deputy Governor of RBI
3. One officer of RBI
4. Three member appointed by the central government
5. Appointed by central government.
6. Appointed by central government.

  • The 6 member MPC is empowered with the objective of fixing the yardstick policy interest rate to curtail inflation within the target level.
  • Each member has one vote and governor has casting vote in case of tie
  • Majority vote will be final in deciding the interest rate.

Agriculture

E- RaKAM Portal :

  • E-RaKAM is a initiative that connect farmers of the smallest villages to the biggest markets of the world through internet and e-RaKAM centres.
  • A joint initiative by state-run-auctioneer MSTC and Central Warehousing Corporation arm CRWC.
  • E-RaKAM is developed by MSTC Limited and supported by marketing & logistics partner CRWC Limited.
  • E-RaKAM is a digital initiative bringing together the farmers, FPOs, PSUs, civil supplies and buyers on a single platform to ease the selling and buying process of agricultural products.
  • Under this initiative, E-RaKAM centres are being developed in a phased manner throughout the country to facilitate farmers for online sale of their

Increase in farmer sucides due to climate change: Us Study Report

  • The University of California research report states that Climate change may have led to over 59,000 farmer suicides over the last 30 years in India.
  • The research tested the link between climate change, crop yields and suicide by comparing the number of suicides across India between 1967 and 2013 with crop yield and climate data. Data on suicides were collected from the National Crime Records Bureau

Enlighten about The U.S Study Report :

  • The effect of climate variation reveals that past growing season temperature strongly influences suicide rates in the following years up to about five years. For instance, when there is abundant rainfall during one growing season, the suicide rates dip for the next two or three years. Drought apparently does not seem to have any effect on suicide rates.
  • The increase in temperature during the cropping season reduces crop yields, resulting in increased suicides. Even a 1°C increase in temperature above 20° C in a single day during the crop growing season results in about 70 suicides on average. Similar increase in temperature during other seasons did not result in a rise in suicides
  • Crop losses due to heat damage cause additional burden on farming households and this at times leads to suicides. An increase in rainfall by 1 cm during the growing season leads to a decrease of about 0.8 deaths per 100,000, thus lowering the suicide rate by 7% on average,
  • South India, which is generally hotter, has higher farmer suicide rates. States where the yields are more affected by high temperatures are also the States which report higher suicide rates. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh not only show severe suicide responses to temperature but crop yield is also more negatively affected by higher temperature.
  • The study did not find any adaptive behaviour to prevent suicides in response to climate change.

Committee

Committee for data protection framework

  • Justice B N Srikrishna, former judge of the Supreme Court of India will head a Committee of experts which has been formed to deliberate on a data protection framework for the country.

Enlighten about this committee

  • Ten-member committee led by the government will “identify key data protection issues in India and recommend methods of addressing them.”
  • The terms of reference of the committee include, “To make specific suggestions for consideration of the Central Government on principles to be considered for data protection in India and suggest a draft data protection bill.”

Why we need it

  • There is a need to ensure growth of the digital economy while keeping personal data of citizens secure and protected. Even though the Information Technology Act contains certain provisions about data protection and handling, experts are of the opinion that India needs a fresh data protection law with the increased digitisation led by Aadhaar, the Goods and Service Tax and the push towards a digital economy. IT Act may also be inadequate to deal with the current requirements since it was drafted almost 17 years ago in 2000 and was amended last in 2008.
  • In the last few years there has been a quantum leap in the world of technology which has been driven by trends such as proliferation of social media, growth of ecommerce leading to boom in transactions over the Internet and demonetisation, which has pushed more people into the digital economy, so the IT act may have to be obviously reconsidered in the light of these developments.