Daily Prelims Newsletter|30 July 2021|RaghukulCS|UPSC

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

30 July 2021-Friday

Table Of Contents

Science and Technology

  • Malaria Disease

Economy

  • Forex Reserves
  • Minimum Support Price

Polity and Governance

  • Parliamentary Privileges

Governmental Initiatives

  • SWAMIH Fund

Science and Technology

Malaria Disease

Why in News?

Extensive sensitisation about malaria through regular awareness programmes and cleanliness drives at regular intervals in slums and infection-prone areas has resulted in Dharwad district of Karnataka recording zero cases of malaria in the last two years.

About Malaria:

  • It is a life-threatening mosquito borne blood disease.
  • It is caused by plasmodium parasites.
  • Its occurrence is mostly in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South America and Asia.
  • The parasites spread with the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • After entering the human body, these parasites initially multiply and thrive within the liver cells. Later they attack the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) resulting in their rupture.
  • Symptoms of malaria:
    • fever,
    • Shaking chills,
    • headache,
    • muscle aches, and
  • It is both preventable and curable.
  • The malaria vaccine is known as

Economy

Forex Reserves

Why in News?

GoI reported that RBI’s forex reserves are enough for import cover of 18 months.

About Forex Reserves held by India:

  • Forex reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank mostly in foreign currencies, which can include bonds, treasury bills and other government securities.
  • Most forex reserves are held in US dollars.

Objectives Behind Holding Forex Reserves:

  • Support and maintain confidence in the policies for monetary and exchange rate management.
  • Provides the capacity to the central bank or government to intervene in support of the national or union currency.
  • Limits external vulnerability by maintaining foreign currency liquidity to absorb shocks during times of crisis.

India’s Forex Reserve include:

  1. Foreign Currency Assets
  2. Gold reserves
  3. Special Drawing Rights
  4. Reserve position with the IMF

Related Information:

Special Drawing Rights

  • It is an international reserve asset, created by the IMF in 1969 with objective to supplement its member countries’ official reserves.
  • The SDR is not a currency and nor a claim on the IMF. It is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members. SDRs can be exchanged for these available currencies.
  • The value of the SDR is calculated by a weighted basket of major hard currencies, including the US dollar, the euro, Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, and British pound.

Reserve Position in the IMF:

  • A reserve tranche position refers to a portion of the required quota of currency each member country has to provide to the IMF that can be utilized for its own purposes.
  • Simply stated, it is an emergency account that IMF members can access any time without agreeing to conditions or paying a service fee.

Minimum Support Price

Why in News?

MSP was in news recently since cotton prices have soared above MSP prices.

About MSP:

  • It is the minimum price for any crop which the government considers as remunerative enough for farmers and hence deserve of support.
  • It is the price government agencies pay when they procure the particular crop.
  • The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) recommends MSPs for 22 crops and fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane.
  • CACP is an attached office under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, GoI.
  • It was formed in1965.
  • It is an advisory body whose recommendations are not binding on the Government.
  • CACP consider following factors to determine MSP:
    • cost of cultivation.
    • Supply and demand situation for the commodity,
    • Market price trends both in domestic and global market
    • Parity vis-à-vis other crops,
    • Implications for consumers-inflation,
    • Environment soil and water use
    • Terms of trade between agriculture and non-agriculture sectors, etc.

Production Costs taken in fixing the MSPs:

  • The CACP considers both A2+FL and C2 costs incurred before recommending MSP.
  • A2 costs: cover all paid-out expenses, both in cash and kind, which is incurred by farmers on seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, hired labour, fuel, irrigation, etc.
  • A2+FL Costs: cover actual paid-out costs plus an imputed value of unpaid family labour.
  • C2 costs: account for the rentals and interest forgone on owned land and fixed capital assets, on top of A2+FL.

Polity and Governance

Parliamentary Privileges

Why in News?

The Supreme Court has observed that lawmakers cannot indulge in criminal acts on the Parliament or Assembly floors, and then take cover behind the right to free speech and parliamentary privilege.

About Parliamentary Privileges:

  • These are certain rights and immunities enjoyed by MPs, both individually and collectively, so that they can effectively discharge their functions in the house.
  • Article 105 of the Constitution explicitly mentions two privileges:
    • Freedom of speech in Parliament,
    • Right of publication of its proceedings.
  • Apart from these, the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for:
    • Freedom from arrest and detention of MPs under civil process during the continuance of the meetings of the house or of its committees and forty days before its commencement and forty days after its conclusion.

Motion against breaches:

  • When any of these rights and immunities are disregarded by members, the offence is referred to as breach of privilege and is punishable under act of Parliament.
  • A motion by any member of either House against those being held guilty of breach of privilege is moved in the house.

Role of the Speaker(LS)/Chairperson (RS):

  • He is the first level of scrutiny of a privilege motion.
  • He can decide on the privilege motion himself or refer it to the privileges committee of Parliament.
  • If he gives consent under relevant rules, the member concerned is given an opportunity to make a short statement in defence.

Applicability:

  • The Constitution extends parliamentary privileges to those persons who are entitled to speak and take part in the proceedings of the house of the Parliament or any of its committees, including Attorney General of India.
  • However, it does not extend to President who is also a part of the Parliament.
  • Article 361 of the Constitution provides for explicit privileges for the President.

Governmental Initiatives

SWAMIH Fund

Why in News?

Recently, SWAMIH fund was in news.

About SWAMIH Fund:

  • It is a government backed fund set up as a Category-II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) debt fund registered with SEBI.
  • It was launched in 2019.
  • It was formed to complete construction of stalled, RERA-registered affordable and mid-income category housing projects which are stuck due to paucity of funds.
  • The Sponsor of SWAMIH Fund is the Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on the behalf of the GoI.

Related Information: Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)

  • AIF is any fund established or incorporated in India which is a privately pooled investment vehicle collecting funds from sophisticated investors, either Indian or foreign, for investing it in accordance with a defined investment objective for the benefit of its investors.
  • Categories of AIFs:

     Category-I AIFs:

  • Funds are invested in businesses which have the potential to grow financially like Start-ups, MSMEs, etc.
  • The government pushes for investments in these ventures as they have a positive externality impact on the economy with regards to output and job creation.
  • For example- Infrastructure Funds, Venture Capital Funds and Social Venture Funds.

 

Category-II AIFs:

  • Funds which are invested in equity and debt securities. Funds not already included under Category I and III are also included.
  • No concession is given by the government for investment made for Category-II AIFS.
  • For example- Real Estate Funds, Debt Fund, Private Equity Funds.

Category-III AIFs:

  • These funds give returns under a short period of time. They use complex and diverse trading strategies to achieve their investment goals.
  • No concession or incentive is given towards these funds specifically by the government.
  • For example- Hedge Funds, Private Investment in Public Equity Funds, etc.

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