Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - July 13, 2018

World Bank

  • India has become the world's sixth-biggest economy, pushing France into seventh place, according to updated World Bank figures for 2017.
  • India's gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to $2.597 trillion at the end of last year, against $2.582 trillion for France.

Enlighten about the Report

  • The latest World Bank figures have some good news for India.
  • A World Bank report says that Indian economy has now become world's sixth-biggest pushing France to seventh place.
  • The US leads the table as the biggest economy followed by China, Japan, Germany and Britain. The new calculations were arrived on the basis of Indian economy's performance in 2017.
  • India's gross domestic product (GDP) was valued at USD 2.597 trillion at the end of 2017 overtaking French economy, which was amounted at USD 2.582 trillion last year.
  • The World Bank report said that after slowing down for several quarters, India's economy bounced back on the cue of reforms by the government.
  • In terms of per capita GDP, India still lags far behind France, which is nearly 20 times bigger in comparison.
  • This is because of the huge size of India's population, which is estimated to be around 134 crore against only 6.7 crore of France.
  • According to the World Bank, Indian economy has benefitted from robust performances in manufacturing sector driven by increased consumer spending.
  • The World Bank also noted that demonetisation in November 2016 and chaotic implementation of GST (goods and services tax) rollout in July last year were to be blamed for extended slowdown of Indian economy.
  • Overall, India has made rapid progress in economy doubling its GDP in less than past 10 years and emerged as the engine of economic growth in Asia at a time when Chinese economy has shown definite signs of lethargy.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted India to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2019.
  • The IMF, on the other hand, predicted that world's economy would grow at 3.9 per cent over the next year.

NITI Aayog

First meeting of Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on coordination between MGNREGA and Agriculture held at NITI Aayog

  • The First Meeting of Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on coordination between MGNREGA and Agriculture was held at NITI Aayog
  • The Convener of the Sub-Group Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh participated in the meeting in person. Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar and Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani joined in the deliberations through video conferencing.
  • Shri N. Chandra Babu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Ms Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal sent their suggestions in writing to the Convener of the sub-group.

Constitution of the Sub-Group

  • The decision taken by the Central Government to constitute the Sub-Group for suggesting ways and means about use of employment under MGNREGS for improving agriculture and reducing cost.

Five critical areas in which MGNREGA could positively help came to the fore in the meeting.

  • Reducing the cost of cultivation,
  • Enhancing the production through efficient use of water or other inputs
  • Providing remunerative price to farmers by incentivising aggregation and market infrastructure,
  • Rehabilitation of agricultural land and assets after natural hazards or re-plantation using MGNREGA fund and
  • Bringing diversification in agriculture to help occupational diversification and maximising profit. Besides, incentivising farm fencing to protect the farmer fields from wild animals was also suggested.

Enlighten about the history

  • In the 4th Meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister a major decision was taken for policy coordination between agriculture sector and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) particularly in pre-sowing and post-harvest activities at the farmers’ fields.
  • The Prime Minster constituted Sub Group consisting of Chief Ministers of 7 States viz. Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Sikkim and Member, NITI Aayog with the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as the convener of the Sub-Group.

International Agencies

India is now the official 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

  • India is now the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the bank's regions of operation.
  • The Indian government had applied for membership in the London-based EBRD in December 2017.
  • The EBRD board of governors, which represents all the existing shareholders, voted unanimously in favour of the country's application in March 2018, with the entire membership process completed this week
  • India takes a shareholding in the EBRD but it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing.
  • In the lead up to the membership, the EBRD held its inaugural business forum in Mumbai last month.


  • The conference, co-hosted with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and with the support of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India, was held under the banner of "Mobilising private sector finance in the EBRD region and how Indian companies can benefit".
  • The EBRD has already cooperated with Indian enterprises on joint projects worth almost one billion euros, including investments with Tata, Jindal and Mahindra and Mahindra.
  • The EBRD is also working closely with leading Indian organisations, such as FICCI, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), and the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Enlighten about EBRD

  • It is a multilateral development bank set up in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in emerging Europe.
  • It invests in 38 emerging economies across three continents, according to a set of criteria that aim to make its countries more competitive, better governed, greener, more inclusive, more resilient and more integrated.
  • India's membership opens up further joint investment prospects in markets such as Central Asia, Egypt and Jordan.
  • EBRD is a multilateral developmental investment bank.
  • It was established 1991 after fall of Berlin wall to promote private and entrepreneurial initiative in emerging Europe.
  • It is owned by 65 countries and two EU institutions. It headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
  • It initially focused to help former Communist states build their economy after the Cold War.
  • Later it expanded to support development in more than 3 countries from central Europe to central Asia.

Now it works only in countries that are committed to democratic principles using investment as tool to built market economies.

Government Schemes

Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao

Organising Ministry

  • Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
  • Ministry ha joined hands with MyGov portal (www.mygov.in).


  • The contest aims to engage with people of the country on the important issues of water conservation and water management.
  • The contest will last till 4th November 2018 and three winners will be chosen every fortnight.

Enlighten about Jal Bachao, Video Banao, Puruskar Pao

  • In this contest, participants can make and upload videos by capturing effort significant contributions, best practices in the field of water conservation water resource development and management and optimum water utilization in different parts of the country.
  • They can also submit any innovation advertisement or commercial on water Conservation.
  • It should be uploaded on YouTube and share publicly accessible link of it on video link section of MyGov contest page.

Clean India Mission

Technology Challenge launched Identifying solutions for cleaning of Sewerage Systems and Septic Tanks to promote suitable techniques for cleaning sewers and septic tank it to eliminate need for human entry in them.

Organising Ministry

  • Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoUHA


  • To eliminate human intervention in cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.
  • It also aims to identify technological as well as business process innovations to avoid human intervention in cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

Enlighten about the challenge

  • The challenge will be conducted for two separate categories.

Category A

  • technological solutions for cleaning and maintenance of sewerage systems to eliminate need for human entry

Category B

  • technological solutions for cleaning and maintenance of septic tanks to eliminate need for human entry.
  • Individual innovator consortium partners, companies, academic institutions, R&D centers, NGO Parastatal and municipal bodies can participate in this challenge.

Enlighten about Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention

  • The challenge will be part of Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation
  • Convention that will be held on October 2, 2018.
  • It will be launched at the 150th anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. It will be a first-of-its-kind International Sanitation Convention.
  • The government will use the occasion to “showcase its performance” and “success story” in the Swachh Bharat programme in the past four years, which was launched on October 2, 2014, and have a face-to-face dialogue with the world leaders to share their experiences on sanitation programmes.
  • Ministers from over 70 countries will be invited and taken on a ‘Gandhi Trail’ in Gujarat.


Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)


  • Inclusion of the entire Men Hockey team of India under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme

Implementing Ministry

  • The Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) of Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs

What’s NEW

  • This is first instance that entire team has been made beneficiary of the scheme as earlier on individual athletes from different sports were included a beneficiaries of the scheme.

Enlighten about it

  • This decision of whole inclusion of hockey team was taken after India’s performance in the recent Champions Trophy
  • They had finished runners up in Champions Trophy Netherlands.
  • The 18 team members will be provided with monthly allowance of Rs. 50,000 each under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
  • The women’s team may be also included in the TOPS after reviewing its performance in the upcoming World Cup and following Asian Games.

Enlighten about Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS)

  • TOPS was launched by Ministry of Sports within the ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF).
  • It aims at identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for upcoming Olympic Games.
  • It will provide selected sportspersons customized training at institutes having world class facilities and also other necessary support is being provided to the elite athletes.
  • It was also provide a benchmark for selection of athletes on par with international standards.
  • Sports Authority of India (SAI) and federations, which are member of Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), will be nodal agencies for disbursal for fund They will make payments directly to beneficiary person and institution concerned on behalf of athletes.
  • Abinav Bindra Committee was constituted to identify and support potential medal prospects for 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games under the scheme.

Sources – The Hindu , PIB , Indian Express