Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - September 26, 2017

Schemes

Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana – “Saubhagya”

Implementing body -

  • Ministry of Power

Aim -

  • Aim at providing last mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households.

Under this scheme –

  • The government will provide free electricity to all households identified under Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data 2011.
  • Electricity connections will be given to APL families for Rs 500, which will be payable in 10 equal monthly instalments.
  • The BPL cardholders will get free electricity connections.
  • The Central Government will provide largely funds for the Scheme to all States/UTs.
  • The States and Union Territories are required to complete works of household electrification by 31st of December 2018.
  • For covering un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible areas, solar power packs of 200 to 300 Wp with battery bank, comprising of 5 LED lights, 1 DC fan, 1 DC power plug.
  • It also includes the Repair and Maintenance (R&M) for 5 years.
  • The Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) will be nodal agency for operationalisation of scheme throughout country.
  • For easy & accelerated implementation of Scheme, modern technology will be used for household survey by using Mobile App.
  • Gram Panchayat/Public institutions in rural areas will be authorised to collect application forms along with complete documentation, distribute bills and collect revenue in consultation with Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
  • Expected outcome of Scheme Better health services Improvement education services Increased economic activities and jobs Improved quality of life especially for women Enhanced connectivity through radio, television, mobiles, etc. Environmental upgradation by substitution of Kerosene for lighting purposes

Defence

INTERCEPTOR BOAT V-409

  • Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) new interceptor boat V-409 was launched in Mangaluru, Karnataka by Bharathi Defence and Infrastructure Limited (BDIL).
  • The vessel will be inducted into service by mid-October 2017 to give boost to coastal security and national security.

V-409 interceptor boat

  • The V-409 interceptor boat has length of 28 meters, beam of 6 meters and draught of 1.2 meters.
  • It has aluminium hull. It has Articulate Surface Piercing Propulsion, also called as Arneson Surface Drives (ASD) which is powered by twin MTU Caterpillar marine diesel engines having a capacity of 1630 kW each.
  • These engines enable boat to attain a maximum speed of more than 35 knots.
  • The vessel has the capability of attaining a very high speed in a very short duration and can operate in shallow waters.
  • The vessels can perform high-speed interception, close-coast patrol, low-intensity maritime operations, search-and- rescue (SAR) and surveillance. The boat has complement of one officer and 12 sailors.

Governance

Economic Advisory Council

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
  • The five member of council will be headed by Niti Aayog member Dr Bibek Debroy.
  • Other members are Dr Surjit Bhalla, Dr Rathin Roy, Dr Ashima Goyal and Ratan Watal.
  • The committee will analyse any issue economic or otherwise referred to it by the Prime minister.

Enlighten about Economic Advisory Council

  • The EAC-PM is an independent body which provides advice on economic issues to the government, specically to the Prime Minister.
  • It consists of economists of high repute and eminence.
  • EAC will analyse any issue, economic or otherwise, referred to it by prime minister and advising him thereon.
  • It will also address issues of macroeconomic importance and present its views to the prime minister.
  • It advise can be either suo-motu or on reference from prime minister or anyone else.
  • It can also attend any other task as may be desired by prime minister from time to time.

Know more about it -

  • Formation of EAC by PM Narendra Modi comes over three years after he assumed power.
  • It will play a critical role in reviving the economy’s growth momentum that has has slipped to 5.7% in April-June quarter, the lowest since May 2014.
  • Earlier PM Manmohan Singh had EAC headed by former RBI Governor C Rangarajan, who resigned in May 2014 after UPA government lost power.

Space

NASA’s asteroid-chasing spacecraft Osiris-Rex

  • NASA’s asteroid-chasing spacecraft Osiris-Rex successfully swung by Earth to put it on desired trajectory towards near earth asteroid Bennu using Earth’s gravity.
  • It passed within 17,237 kilometres from Earth above Antarctica.
  • During closest yby, Osiris-Rex’s science instruments were tested by scanning Earth and moon as a practice for its operations at Bennu.

OSIRIS-REx

  • The OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) mission was launched in September 2016 for studying 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid.
  • It is NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission.
  • Japan already has visited an asteroid and returned some specks.
  • The spacecraft will reach small, roundish asteroid in 2018 and return to Earth after collecting some of its gravels by 2023.
  • It will capture 2 ounces of dust on asteroid using its robotic arm without landing i.e. by hovering like a hummingbird stirred up by nitrogen gas thruster and then begun its return trip to earth.
  • 101955 Bennu is near-Earth carbonaceous asteroid about the size of a small mountain in the Apollo group.
  • It was discovered in September 1999 by the LINEAR project

Signicance of mission

  • NASA scientists believe that Bennu asteroid holds clues to origin of solar system and life and source of water and organic molecules found on Earth.
  • Material returned from asteroid is expected to enable scientists to learn more about the formation and evolution of the Solar System.
  • It will also give insights of initial stages of planet formation and the source of organic compounds which led to the formation of life on Earth.

MoU

MoU between TRIFED & AMAZON

What -

  • Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) has inked MoU with e-commerce giant Amazon

Why -

  • for selling tribal products.

Objective -

  • The aim of initiative is to promote tribal handicrafts like handloom products, cane and bamboo products, tribal jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal weaves and embroidery, tribal paintings etc.
  • TRIFED already has tied-up with Snapdeal.

Enlighten about the MoU

  • As a part of MoU, exquisite authentic tribal art and craft items crafted and sculpted by tribal artisans from all over the country will be showcased on Amazon’s online portal for sale.
  • All customers of Amazon will get easy and convenient access to over 65 million products across hundreds of categories.
  • Through this initiative government plans to expand reach of ‘Tribe India’ brand through scaling of operations and house-to-house retail marketing.

Enlighten about TRIFED

  • TRIFED is a national-level apex organization functioning under administrative control of Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • It was established in August 1987 by then Ministry of Welfare under Multi State Cooperative Societies Act 1984 (which has now been replaced by Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002).
  • Its core objective is to institutionalize trade of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and Surplus Agriculture Produce (SAP) collected or cultivated by tribals as they are heavily dependent on these natural products for their livelihood.
  • TRIFED also works as an agency to the FCI for procurement of Wheat and Rice.

Appointments

Rajiv Mehrishi – new Comptroller and Auditor General ( CAG)

  • Former Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi was sworn in as new Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India.
  • He was administered oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • He succeeded Shashi Kant Sharma.
  • Rajiv Mehrishi Mr Mehrishi is 1978 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre.
  • He has worked for both Union and State governments at top positions and his bureaucratic career spanned more than 30 years.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)

  • CAG is constitutional office under article 148.
  • He is appointed by President of India by warrant under his hand for period of 6 years or up to age of 65 years, whichever earlier.
  • The conditions and services of CAG are prescribed by Parliament via CAG (conditions and services) Act, 1953 as amended in 1971.
  • Allowances and pensions payable to or in respect of persons in that office are charged upon Consolidated Fund of India (CFI).
  • Removal of CAG is similar to removal of a Supreme Court Judge.
  • CAG is not eligible for any office under GOI post-retirement.

Functions of CAG

  • CAG suggests account keeping of union and state with approval of president.
  • It exercises power in relation to account of union and state or any other enterprise funded by GOI as may be prescribed by law made by parliament.
  • The CAG reports to president and governors regarding accounts of union and state respectively
  • The president presents report to parliament.
  • In 1976, accounting was separated from auditing form CAG’s duty. Now accounting is done by other agencies.