Indian Express Explained 16th April 2020

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1)Explained: Why are gold prices rising?

Major gold buying leading central banks of China and Russia over the last two years supported higher gold prices.

Last year, there have been intermittent reports based on economic indicators suggesting that the US economy could enter into recession after a record 11 years of economic surge since the global financial crisis of 2008.

This expectation of recession sowed the seeds of the gold rally, and the Covid-19 impact, which has virtually led to a shutdown of major economies across the world, added momentum to the rising gold prices as a major global recession now looks certain.

While gold by itself does not produce any economic value, it is an efficient tool to hedge against inflation and economic uncertainties.

It is also more liquid when compared with real estate and many debt instruments which come with a lock-in period. After any major economic crash and recession, gold prices continue their upward run. Analysts in market feel that gold could now overtake the previous peak of around $1900 per ounce.

2) Estimates Committee:- Estimates Committee is a Parliamentary Committee in India consisting of 30 members, elected every year by the lower chamber of the Parliament – Lok Sabha – from amongst its Members, to examine the budget estimates of the Union Government.

Committee may continue the examination of the estimates from time to time throughout the financial year and report to the House as its examination proceeds.

The Committee on Estimates was constituted for the first time in 1950.

Speaker from amongst its members. A Minister cannot be elected as a member of the Committee. The term of office of the Committee is one year.

3) Urban Agglomeration:-

In India, the word “urban agglomeration” is defined in the Census of India – which provides statistical information on different characteristics of the people of India.

The responsibility of conducting the decennial Census rests with the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India under Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

An urban agglomeration is a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining outgrowths (OGs), or two or more physically contiguous towns together with or without outgrowths of such towns.

An Urban Agglomeration must consist of at least a statutory town(all places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc.) and its total population (i.e. all the constituents put together) should not be less than 20,000 as per the previous Census.

Examples: Greater Mumbai UA, Delhi UA, etc.

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