National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 31st January 2019

DIPP rechristened to include internal trade


Topic: Economy

IN NEWS: The government has notified changing the name of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, and has enhanced its role.

More on the Topic:

  • The notification has also included four new categories of responsibilities the renamed body will be in charge of, including the promotion of internal trade (including retail trade), the welfare of traders and their employees, matters relating to facilitating Ease of Doing Business, and matters relating to start-ups.
  • These are in addition to the previous responsibilities of the erstwhile DIPP relating to general industrial policy, administration of the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951, industrial management, productivity in industry, and matters related to e-commerce.
  • The inclusion of the promotion of internal trade in the name and responsibilities of the body has been welcomed by the traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders.

About Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion:

  • Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) was established in the year 1995, and was reconstituted in the year 2000 with the merger of Department of Industrial Development.
  • The department functions under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
  • It is responsible for formulation and implementation of promotional and developmental measures for growth of the industrial sector, keeping in view the national priorities and socio-economic objectives.
  • While individual Administrative Ministries look after the production, distribution, development and planning aspects of specific industries allocated to them, DIPP is responsible for the overall industrial policy. It is also responsible for facilitating and increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to the country.
  • It is currently working to frame a new industrial policy, to be the third such policy in India since its independence in 1947.

Source: The Hindu

ISRO launches Human Space Flight Centre


Topic: Science and Technology

IN NEWS: The Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), the hub of ISRO’s future manned missions, was inaugurated at ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru.

More on the Topic:

  • Announced on August 15 2018, the country’s first crewed mission is set to happen by 2022, the 75th year of Independence.
  • Gaganyaan is an Indian crewed orbital spacecraft intended to be the basis of the Indian human spaceflight program.
  • The spacecraft is being designed to carry three people, and a planned upgraded version will be equipped with rendezvous and docking capability.
  • In its maiden crewed mission, Indian Space Research Organization’s largely autonomous 7-tonne capsule will orbit the Earth at 400 km (250 mi) altitude for up to seven days with a three-person crew on board.
  • The crewed vehicle is planned to be launched on ISRO’s GSLV Mk III in 2022. This HAL-manufactured crew module had its first uncrewed experimental flight on 18 December 2014.
  • Previously, on 5 July 2018, ISRO successfully conducted ‘pad abort’ test called Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota which is critical for a future crewed space mission.

Model Mains Question: Elucidate the importance of ISRO in projecting India as a Global Super Power in space technology.

Source:The Hindu

Kui tribals of Odisha


Topic: Culture

In news: Kui Tribals are in news related to murder of two tribal persons last year.

More on the Topic:

  • Khonds/Kuis are a Dravidian-speaking tribal people of India. Traditionally hunter-gatherers, they are divided into the hill-dwelling Khonds and plain-dwelling Khonds for census purposes; all the Khonds identify by their clan and usually hold large tracts of fertile land but still practice hunting, gathering and slash-and-burn agriculture in the forests as a symbol of their connection to and ownership of the forest. Khonds speak the Kui and Kuvi languages.
  • The Kondha are adept land dwellers, exhibiting greater adaptability to the forest environmen
  • However, due to development interventions in education, medical facilities, irrigation, plantation and so on, they are forced into the modern way of life in many ways.
  • Their traditional life style, customary traits of economy, political organization, norms, values and world view have been drastically changed over a long period.

Source: The Hindu

Biopolymer research


Topic: Science and Technology

In news: Rajasthan is promoting research in the biopolymer sector with an emphasis on fabrication of new products and generation of more employment opportunities. The initiative will also be linked with the handicraft industry for extending the benefits to both of them.

More on the Topic:

  • Institutions such as the Centre for Skilling and Technical Support in Jaipur and the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Jodhpur could play a significant role in developing the technology and break the monopoly of some countries.
  • NIFT will establish a gallery exhibiting the textile industry’s progress from handlooms to hi-tech machines and development of designs from medieval to modern period.

About Biopolymer:

  • Biopolymers are polymers produced by living organisms.
  • It is a biodegradable chemical compound that is regarded as the most organic compound in the ecosphere. The name “Biopolymer” indicates that it is a bio-degradable polymer.
  • Cellulose is the most common organic compound and biopolymer on Earth. About 33 percent of all plant matter is cellulose. The cellulose content of cotton is 90 percent, for wood it is 50 percent.
  • Ex: Protein, Carbohydrate, RNA etc

Uses of Biopolymers:

  • Sugar based polymers, such as Polyactides, naturally degenerate in the human body without producing any harmful side effects. This is the reason why they are used for medical purposes. Polyactides are commonly used as surgical implants.
  • Starch based biopolymers can be used for creating conventional plastic by extruding and injection molding.
  • Biopolymers based on synthetic are used to manufacture substrate mats.
  • Cellulose based Biopolymers, such as cellophane, are used as a packaging material.
  • These chemical compounds can be used to make thin wrapping films, food trays and pellets for sending fragile goods by shipping.

Source: The Hindu

What is Beveridge curve in economics?


Topic: Economy

In news: Hindu Conceptual knowledge

More on the Topic:

  • This refers to a graphical representation that shows the relationship between the unemployment rate (on the horizontal axis) and the job vacancy rate (on the vertical axis) in an economy.
  • It is named after British economist William Beveridge. The Beveridge curve usually slopes downwards because times when there is high job vacancy in an economy are also marked by relatively low unemployment since companies may actually be actively looking to hire new people.
  • By the same logic, a low job vacancy rate usually corresponds with high unemployment as companies may not be looking to hire many people in new jobs.

Source: The Hindu

Finance Commission


Topic: Economy

In news:   The 15th Finance Commission headed by Chairman Shri N K Singh, met with the representatives of the Trade and Industry Bodies in Amritsar.

About Finance Commission:

  • The First Finance Commission was established by the President of India in 1951 under Article 280 of the Indian Constitution.
  • It was formed to define the financial relations between the central government of India and the individual state governments.
  • The Finance Commission (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1951 additionally defines the terms of qualification, appointment and disqualification, the term, eligibility and powers of the Finance Commission.
  • As per the Constitution, the Commission is appointed every five years and consists of a chairman and four other members.
  • Since the institution of the First Finance Commission, stark changes in the macroeconomic situation of the Indian economy have led to major changes in the Finance Commission’s recommendations over the years.
  • There have been fifteen commissions to date. The most recent was constituted in 2017 and is chaired b y N. K.Singh, a former member of the Planning Commission.

Model Main Question: Discuss the role of Finance commission in enhancing Cooperative federalism in India.

Source: The Hindu

National Salt Satyagraha Memorial


Topic: Modern Indian History

In news: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat to the nation.

More on the Topic:

  • At the memorial site, he also unveiled statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from sea water against the British law.
  • The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March. Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex.

About Salt Satyagraha:

  • The Salt March, also known as the Dandi March and the Dandi Satyagraha, was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to produce salt from the seawater in the coastal village of Dandi (now in Gujarat), as was the practice of the local populace until British officials introduced taxation on salt production, deemed their sea-salt reclamation activities illegal, and then repeatedly used force to stop it.
  • The 24-day march lasted from 12 March 1930 to 6 April 1930 as a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly.
  • It gained worldwide attention which gave impetus to the Indian independence movement and started the nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement.
  • Mahatma Gandhi started this march with 78 of his trusted volunteers. Walking ten miles a day for 24 days, the march spanned over 240 miles.
  • The march was the most significant organised challenge to British authority since the Non-cooperation movement of 1920–22, and directly followed the Purna Swaraj declaration of sovereignty and self-rule by the Indian National Congress on 26 January 1930.

Source: The Hindu

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