1.Elephanta Caves contain mainly
2.Bathukamma festival is celebrated predominantly in
3.India’s growth’s story from the eve of Independence to the liberalization phase is largely termed as ‘Hindu rate of growth’. What it refers to?
Map of the Day :-
Spain Map : Political and Physical
News:- New drug to be tested
Can a drug used to treat sepsis be deployed for COVID-19 patients?
Sepsivac, developed by Cadilla Pharmaceuticals and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, will be tested in50 patients at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi and Bhopal, and the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.
News:- Child abuse complaints rise during lockdown
ChildLine has been seeing an increase in the number of complaints pertaining to child marriage and physical abuse since the lockdown began.
News:- £lection Commission was in News :-
Election Commission is a permanent Constitutional Body. It was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950.
The Constitution provides Election Commission of India with the power of direction, superintendence, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India and the office of vice-president of India.
The Election Commission is an all-India body that is common to both the Central government and the State governments. It must be noted here that the commission does not deal with the elections to the Municipalities and Panchayats in the states. Hence, a separate State Election Commission is provided by the Constitution of India.
Constitutional Article :- 324
About :- Since 1993, the Election Commission functions as a multi-member body comprising of 3 commissioners.
The chief and the two other election commissioners have the same powers and emoluments including salaries, which are the same as a Supreme Court judge.
In case of difference of opinion amongst the Chief Election Commissioner and/or two other election commissioners, the matter is decided by the Commission by a majority.
The office is held by them for a term of 6 years or until they attain 65 years, whichever happens first. They can also be removed or can resign at any time before the expiry of their term.
The chief election commissioner is provided with security of tenure. He cannot be removed from his office except in the same manner and on the same grounds as a judge of the Supreme Court.
Any other election commissioner or a regional commissioner cannot be removed from office except on the recommendation of the chief election commissioner.
Some Flaws :-
The Constitution has not prescribed the qualifications (legal, educational, administrative or judicial) of the members of the Election Commission.
The Constitution has not specified the term of the members of the Election Commission.
The Constitution has not debarred the retiring election commissioners from any further appointment by the government.
The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners.
The tenure of office and the conditions of service of all the commissioners shall be determined by the country’s President.
News:- CBDT sticks with Budget’s tax target
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown to combat it has brought the economy to a near standstill,the Centre has gone ahead and set its Income Tax authorities a daunting target of collecting ₹13.2 lakh crore for the fiscal year ending in March 2021.
About CBDT :-
What is the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)?
It is a statutory body established as per the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
It is India’s official financial action task force unit.
It is administered by the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes consists of a Chairman and six members that deal with the following:
- Income Tax
- Legislation and Computerisation
- Audit and Judicial
- Personnel and Vigilance
The Members of the CBDT are selected from the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). The members constitute the top management of the Income Tax Department.
Functions of CBDT:-
- It deals with matters related to levying and collecting Direct Taxes.
- Formulation of various policies.
- Supervision of the entire Income Tax Department
- Suggests legislative changes in Direct Tax Enactments
- Suggests changes in tax rates
- Proposes changes in the taxation structure in line with the Government policies.
News :- @CovidIndiaSeva launched
Union Health Minister launched the ‘COVID India Seva’, an interactive platform to establish a direct channel of communication during the pandemic. The initiative is aimed at enabling transparent e-governance delivery in realtime and answering citizen queries swiftly, at scale, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Through this, people can pose queries @CovidIndiaSeva and get answers in almost real time.
News:- Why are oil prices in negative terrain?
Background :- Prices of West Texas Intermediate(WTI), the American benchmark for crude oil, fell to less than zero in Monday’s trade.
The price of a barrel of WTI fell to minus, yes, that’sright, minus $37.63 a barrel.
What this means is that sellers have to pay buyers to getrid of their crude!
This is unprecedented in the oil market, even accounting for its notoriety for being volatile.
The bottomline, though, is that prices fell asdemand for oil is falling andthe world, especially America, is running out of storage space.
How is India benefiting fromthis price crash?In two ways.
First, the oil import bill will fall sharply this fiscal year, giving tremendous relief to the government on the external account front.
With merchandise exports from India badly hit due to thelockdown in the West, foreign exchange earnings are under pressure.
With oil prices falling and foreign exchange outgo reducing, the pressure on the current account balance is off. In fact,we may be looking at a positive balance in the current account if global economic recovery is quick and our exports recover.
Second, India is quietly building up its strategic reserves, taking advantage of the cheap prices. India has a capacity to hold over 39 million barrels of oil at its strategic reserves in Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur, near Udupi. These are underground salt caverns converted and built to store crude oil.
News:- Why Kandhamal tribes never have a bad hair day
Help from near and dear for hair grooming is a long tradition among Kandhamal tribals.
Kandhamal tribes:- Odisha.
News: Regulator sweetens TLTRO deal for banks lending to NBFCs
The Reserve Bank of India has allowed banks to exclude loans extended to non banking finance companies frombthe funds availed under the Targeted Long Term Repo Operations ((TLTRO) for determining priority sector targets.
This is intended to incentivise banks to lend to NBFCs.
The funds availed of under the facility should be deployed in investment grade bonds, commercial papers(CPs) and non-convertible debentures (NCDs) of NBFCs.
Atleast 50% of the total funds availed should be invested in mid and small sized NBFCs, including micro finance institutions, the RBI had mandated.
What is LTRO or TLTRO?
LTRO is a tool that lets banks borrow one to three-year funds from the central bank at the repo rate, by providing government securities with similar or higher tenure as collateral.
It is called ‘Targeted’ LTRO as in this case, the central bank wants banks opting for funds under this option to be specifically invested in investment-grade corporate debt.
This helps banks get funds for a longer duration as compared to the short-term (up to 28 days) liquidity provided by the RBI through other tools such as liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) and marginal standing facility (MSF).
How does it help banks and why is it important for the economy?
LTROs provide banks with access to cheaper capital from the RBI. This, in turn, encourages them to lend more and spur economic activity. They can also invest these long-term funds in assets that yield better returns to improve profitability.
Also, as banks provide government securities as collateral, the demand for such government bonds increases and helps in lowering yield.
Is the Reserve Bank of India the first central bank to use LTROs?
No. LTRO was first introduced by the European Central Bank during its sovereign debt crisis that began in 2008. LTRO was an acronym coined by the ECB that stood for “long-term refinancing operations”.
Editorial of the Day :-
Putting the SAGAR vision to the test
When PM visited Seychelles, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka he unveiled India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean: Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
SAGAR seeks to differentiate India’s leadership from the modus operandi of other regionally active major powers and to reassure littoral states as India’s maritime influence grows.
IOC granted observer status to India on March 6 at the Commission’s 34th Council of Ministers. Foundedin 1982, the IOC is an intergovernmental organisation comprising five small island states in the Western Indian Ocean: the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (a French department), and Seychelles.
Though Réunion brings a major power,France, into this small state equation, decisions in the IOC are consensus based.
More recently, the IOC has demonstrated leadership in the maritime security domain. Since maritime security is a prominent feature of India’s relations with Indian Ocean littoral states, India’s interest in the IOC should be understood in this context. However, India has preferred to engage bilaterally with smaller statesin the region.
In 2012, the IOC was one of the four regional organisations to launch the MASE Programme — the European Unionfunded programme to promote Maritime Security in Eastern and Southern Africa and IndianOcean.
Under MASE, the IOC has established a mechanism for surveillance and control of the Western Indian Ocean with two regional centres.
The Regional Maritime Information Fusion Center (RMIFC), based in Madagascar, is designed to deepen maritime domain awareness by monitoring maritime activities and promoting information sharing and exchange.
The Regional Coordination Operations Centre (RCOC), based in Seychelles, will eventually facilitate joint or jointly coordinated interventions at sea based on information gathered through the RMIFC.
The IOC has also wielded a disproportionate degree of convening power. In 2018 and 2019, it served as Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
Leveraging the CGPCS Chair, the IOC held ministerial meetings in 2018 and 2019 on maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean, drawing state representations from the region plus major powers such as India, the EU,the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Russia.
The IOC’s achievements offer an opportunity for India to learn, andalso to support.
The IOC style of ‘bottom up regionalism’ has produced a subregional view and definition of maritime security problems and local ownership of pathways towards workable solutions.
How can India contribute?The IOC’s maritime security activities have a strong foundation, but they require support and buy in from additional regional actors.
India has already signalled a strong interest inthe work of the IOC through its request to be admitted as an observer.
Op-Ed Discussion :-
A change in migrant policy
Why migrants occupy centre stage?:-
First, the numbers involved are very high. Let’s take the example of Bihar which has a population of about 123 million. The number of migrants in Bihar is estimated to be close to 10 million.
Second, India’s economy, particularly of the growth centres, depends on the services of migrant workers.
Sectors such as construction, garment manufacturing, mining, and agriculture would come to a standstill without them.
Third, the return of migrants brings to the source States an economic shock as there are no compensatory sources of livelihood.
The poor States may find it difficult to sustain themselves without the remittances.
This will not only cause demand side setbacks but also impact nutrition, health, education and the well being of the older population.
Fourth, in the case of epidemics, the exodus of seasonal migrants creates apprehensions about the spread of the disease and runs counterproductive to the very purpose of a lockdown.
Fifth, the pathetic working and living conditions of migrants defy the very idea of decent work and general security. Slums and slum like colonies are breeding grounds of ailments and communicable diseases.
People living in these areas simply cannot practise social distancing.
Why Relief Package is not helping these migrant population:-
- Those migrants who are unable to return home and are not ration cardholders in the cities wherethey are stationed will not benefit from additional free foodgrains under the PDS.
- They cannot avail of increased MGNREGA wages until they go back home.
- As many seasonal migrants are landless or marginal farmers, they will not benefit from the grant to landholders.
- Neither will they get benefits under the Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board because of low registration.
Thus, this workforce will remain largely deprived of the benefits under the present package at their destination places.
The State needs to think out of the box in delivering relief packages.
Disasters provide opportunities to correct structural wrongs. The state could work out a strategy of addressing immediate distress conditions and simultaneously initiating long term measures to bring structural changes in the policy towards migrants and the informal sector.
Lead Editorial :-
The key strategy is fiscal empowerment of States:-
Being closer to the people, the States have a much larger responsibility in fighting this war. Public health as well as public order are State subjects in the Constitution.
In fact, some States were proactive in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak by involving the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, even before the Government of India declared a universal lockdown invoking the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The acute shortage of protective gear, testing kits, ventilators and hospital beds has been a major handicap and the immediate task of States is to ramp up their availability and supply.
The pandemic has underlined the historical neglect of the healthcare sector in the country.
The total public expenditures of Centre and States works out to a mere 1.3%of GDP.
Besides protecting lives and livelihoods, States will have to initiate and facilitate economic revival, and that too would require substantial additional spending.
The war on COVID-19 can be effectively won only when the States are armed with enough resources to meet the crisis.