Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - November 5, 2018

AYUSH

Ayurveda Day - 5th November

  • Ministry of AYUSH observes Ayurveda Day every year on Dhanawantari Jayanti (Dhanteras).
  • This year Ayurveda Day is being observed on 5th November 2018.
  • On this occasion, Ministry is organising a “National Seminar on Entrepreneurship and Business Development in Ayurveda” in association with NITI Aayog

Why

  • Intention to encourage entrepreneurs and Ayurveda stakeholders towards businesses opportunities in the sector.
  • The seminar is expected to develop awareness among stakeholders about the business opportunities, encouraging young entrepreneurs to use of modern technologies and modern innovations in business development in the sector and to highlight opportunities at global level.

Connect to AYUSH

  • The Ministry of AYUSH was formed on 9th November 2014 to ensure the optimal development and propagation of AYUSH systems of health care. Earlier it was known as the Department of Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy (ISM&H) which was created in March 1995 and renamed as Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in November 2003, with focused attention for development of Education and Research in Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.

International

Iran oil: India to get U.S. sanctions waiver

What

  • Eight countries will be given exemptions and “weeks longer to wind down” their trade with Iran, once U.S. sanctions against Iran kick in on November 5.
  • The European Union (EU) — which consists of 28 countries including the U.K. — will not be one of the jurisdictions granted a temporary exemption.

No exemption form SWIFT

  • In terms of entities granted exemptions, there would be no exemption for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a global financial messaging service
  • SWIFT — which does not hold money itself but transmits information on transactions — has a network that spans 200 countries and some 11,000 financial institutions

After U.S withdrawal

  • The EU, which remains party to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or the ‘Iran Deal’) has been frustrated by the U.S’s withdrawal, and has been searching for ways to work around the sanctions, including through the use of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

Connect to JCPOA

  • The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, is an agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),and the European Union.(later US withdrew)
  • Formal negotiations toward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program began with the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action, an interim agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries in November 2013.

Connect to SWIFT

  • The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) provides a network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment.
  • SWIFT also sells software and services to financial institutions, much of it for use on the SWIFTNet Network, and ISO 9362. Business Identifier Codes (BICs, previously Bank Identifier Codes) are popularly known as "SWIFT codes".
  • The majority of international interbank messages use the SWIFT network.
  • SWIFT linked more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories, who were exchanging an average of over 15 million messages per day (compared to an average of 2.4 million daily messages in 1995).
  • SWIFT transports financial messages in a highly secure way but does not hold accounts for its members and does not perform any form of clearing or settlement.
  • SWIFT does not facilitate funds transfer: rather, it sends payment orders, which must be settled by correspondent accounts that the institutions have with each other.
  • Each financial institution, to exchange banking transactions, must have a banking relationship by either being a bank or affiliating itself with one (or more) so as to enjoy those particular business features.

Small Scale Industries

Loans for MSMEs in 59 minutes

What

  • The Prime Minister announced 12 measures to boost the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, including a portal that would enable the units to get a loan in just 59 minutes and interest subvention of 2%.

Connect to the reforms

  • The firms registered on the Goods and Services Tax portal would be able to avail themselves of this facility on the portal itself.
  • The companies had now been asked to compulsorily procure 25%, instead of 20%, of their total purchases from the MSMEs.
  • Of the 25% procurement mandated from the MSMEs, 3% must now be reserved for women entrepreneurs.
  • A 2% interest subvention on fresh or incremental loans for all GST-registered MSMEs.
  • These 12 decisions will mark a new chapter for the MSME sector

Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation

Jharakhand to become ODF by by 15th of this month

What

  • Jharkhand will become open defecation free state on it’s upcoming foundation day - 15th November.

Ganga Gram Swachchhata Sammelan

  • Ganga Gram is a concept to transform banks on the village of River Ganga into ideal villages with emphasis on ODF, Solid and Liquid Waste Management, Water Conservation, Ground Water Recharge, modern crematorium, tree plantation, organic and medicinal plant agriculture being the main components.

Bilateral Agreements

India and Japan signs a Loan Agreement worth Rs. 1817 crore for the ‘Project for the Construction of Turga Pumped Storage

What

  • India and Japan signed Loan Agreement worth Rs. 1817 crore for construction of Turga Pumped Storage (I)’ Hydel Project.
  • On completion, this project will contribute to Industrial Development and Living Standard Improvement in the West Bengal.

Connect to the agreement

  • This loan agreement was signed between Union Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
  • The objective of project is to strengthen capability to respond to fluctuation in supply and demand of power.
  • It also seeks to improve stability of power supply by constructing pumped storage facilities, thereby contributing to industrial development and improvement of Living Standard of people in West Bengal.

International organisations

Opening up International Solar Alliance (ISA) membership to all countries that are members of the United Nations.

What

  • The Union Cabinet has given approval for opening up International Solar Alliance (ISA) membership to all countries that are members of the United Nations.
  • Cabinet has approved to move Resolution in first Assembly of ISA for amending the Framework Agreement of ISA.
  • Doing this will put solar energy in global agenda with universal appeal for developing and deploying solar energy.
  • It will make ISA inclusive, whereby all member countries of UN could become member.
  • Expanding membership will lead to ISA initiative benefitting the world at large.

Connect to International Solar Alliance (ISA)

  • ISA is an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
  • The ISA Framework Agreement had entered into force in December 2017 and formally became de-jure treaty based International Intergovernmental Organization.
  • It is headquartered at Gurugram, India.
  • The main objective of ISA is to include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.

National

Water ATMs may help in bridging safe water gap Safe Water Network (SWN) report

What

  • With 82 crore people who still do not have access to piped water and 70% of water in the country contaminated by pollutants, the government is increasingly starting to accept small water enterprises — such as water ATMs and community purification plants — as an alternative solution to the safe drinking water challenge.

Connect to SWN report

  • SWN report says the government needs to spend ₹44,000 crore on 2.2 lakh small water enterprises to provide safe drinking water to about 37 crore people, mostly in urban slums where piped water infrastructure is difficult to build, and in rural areas with contaminated water sources.

CAG and NITI Aayog reports

  • A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pointed out that only 18% of the rural population has access to potable piped water, failing to meet the 2017 target of 50%.
  • India is ranked at 120 out of 122 countries on the Water Quality Index, said Niti Aayog, adding that 70% of the country’s water supply is contaminated.

Connect to community water purification

  • The community purification plants treat water locally. The water ATM is a dispensation system, which can be automatic with a coin or smart card, or manual
  • Community water purification plants have grown from less than 12,000 in 2014 to almost 50,000 in 2018, according to the SWN, as they have been incorporated into government planning.
  • To reach the government’s Har Ghar Jal target of 100% piped water by 2030, almost ₹5 lakh crore of infrastructure investment will be required