Friday, February 20, 2015

Kerry Lugar Berman Act,Gross National Happiness,Right to Services,Section 20(8)(d) of the Representation of People Act 1950,Jan Rath AC bus service,Buddha Heritage Walk,Forest owlet (Athene blewitti)

1. Ques. What is Kerry –Lugar – Berman Act (KLB)?

Ans. Also known as Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act 2009, it is an agreement between the US and Pakistan under which US will provide Pakistan with military aid and in return Pakistan would act towards combating terror groups with great efforts and will dismantle nuclear weapons related material supplier networks.

2. Bhutan’s GDP is $1.88 billion.

3. Gross National Happiness value is an index value of the total average per capita of the below factors –

(a) Economic Wellness
(b) Environmental Wellness
(c) Physical Wellness
(d) Mental Wellness
(e) Workplace Wellness
(f) Social Wellness
(g) Political Wellness

Broadly 6 factors – Healthy life of individuals, someone to count on, Generosity, freedom from corruption, GDP per capita, perceived freedom to make life choices. 

Latest ranking of countries GNH in 2015 start –

Denmark (1), Norway (2), Switzerland (3), Netherlands (4), Sweden (5), Canada (6), Finland (7), Austria (8), Iceland (9), Australia (10), US(17), Pakistan (81), Bangladesh (108), India (111)

Above data is for the period of 2010-2012

4. A New Right to services Act draft has been prepared by Maharashtra government that will impose on officials a fine of upto Rs. 5000 if they do not provide the required service to the citizens. Officials working in Panchayat Samiti, Gram Panchayat, Zila parishad, Municipal Corporation, Nagar Panchayat, Planning Authority, Industrial Township will fall under the ambit of the Right to Services Act of Maharashtra Government. 

5. Oil prices at $51 per barrel. Likely outcomes –

Reduction is crude oil prices are going to reduce the import bill of India but it also has the potential to hit our exports negatively because reduced oil prices has the potential to reduce the global economic growth. Also companies in the field of crude oil derivatives like synthetic yarn, polymers and chemicals have been made when the oil prices were high and now those inventories have to be sold at current market prices. Several hedge funds have gone bankrupt and many companies worldwide stand the risk of bankruptcy due to unavailability in economic production of crude oil. To worsen the situation these companies have taken huge and massive amount of loans from banks and not repaying these loans will further deteriorate the situation.

6. Section 20(8)(d) of the Representation of People Act 1950 read with Section 60(b) of the Representation of People act 1951 has allowed government officials and servants and some more classes of people to vote through postal ballot after taking the permission of the Election Commission. This same privilege has been demanded by the NRI’s and on their application to the Supreme Court, the apex Court has asked the Government's reply on this matter.

Indian pharma and information technology stellar growth can be attributed to the helping hand of the Government.

Indian pharma industry has grown from almost negligible revenues in 1960 to today’s annual revenue of $40 billion of which $15 billion is in exports. Today it employs 29 million people. 

Software industry of India in 1990 employed 8500 people and had a revenue of $165 million whereas today the corresponding figures are 2 million direct employees and 7 million indirect employees. Today  its volume is $118 billion of which $100 billion are in exports.

7. The United Nations two most important priorities for 2015 - (a) Sustainable development and (b) Adoption of a Climate Change Agreement.

8. The Central Pollution Control Board and Environment Ministry has asked the State Government to do away with the CTE (Consent to Establish) Certificate to be issued by the state Pollution Control Board before the industry acquires a power connection.

In place of it a committee has been appointed to develop norms that will allow industries to self regulate and self certify their environment impacts.

9. Section 20 (A) which was added by Representation of the People (Amendment) Act in 2010 allowed NRI to vote but they needed to be physically present to do that. Now the Central Government has agreed with the Election Commission recommendation and Supreme Court direction to allow NRI’s to vote through postal ballots from overseas. They will have a significant impact on poll results as 10 million voters overseas will vote.

It was being said that Section 20(A) of ROP (Amendment) 2010 violated Article 14 as it placed restrictions on NRIs on basis of economic classification

10. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania which were members of erstwhile USSR but now are members of NATO, the European Union and Eurozone. Slovenia and Slovakia are already their members and these are the only 5 countries which were part of USSR but now they are in Western camps. 

Now Eurozone (the monetary group) comprises 19 countries

11. Jan Rath AC bus service to be launched in UP by the SP Government which would target the middle class commuters.

12. Buddha Heritage Walk was attended by Buddhist devotees from 11 countries and they covered the path from Bodh Gaya to Rajgir which Buddha covered 2543 years ago after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya under a Pipal tree. At that time the city of Rajgir was the capital of great Magadhan King Bimbisara.

13. Ms. Sindhushree  Khullar is the first CEO of NITI Aayog.

14. Centre has used Article 123 to bring in implementation of MMDR Amendment Ordinance 2015 to amend the MMDR (Mines and Minerals) Development and Regulation Act 2015 which will enable to use auction policy while granting leases for the purpose of mining in both bulk minerals and notified minerals. 

Before this Ordinance the previous permission of the Central Govt. was required to deal with notified minerals of First Schedule like Iron Ore, Manganese, Bauxite, Copper, Gold.

15. Forest Owlet (Athene Blewitti) is a Critically Endangered Species.

16. Out of the 68.57% stake of Government in Indian Oil Corporation the Government is planning to disinvest 10% which would raise about Rs. 8150 crore.

17. J.P. Nadda is the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.

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