As per a recent study by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, geologicallyChilika lake in Odisha, was once part of the Bay of Bengal.
About Chilka Lake:
It is Asia’s largest brackish water lake.
Chilika is Asia’s largest and world’s second largest lagoon.
It is presenton the mouth of the Daya River, flowing into the Bay of Bengal.
In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated under wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
Key Fauna:EndangeredIrrawaddy dolphins.
The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) in the lagoon area is a bird sanctuary.
Kalijai Temple – Located on an island in the Chilika Lake.
Why in News?
According to the recent data from RBI, India’s Forex reserves have declined by USD 2.986 billion to reach USD 579.285 billion by the end of March 2021.
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:
Foreign Currency Assets
Special Drawing Rights
Reserve position with the IMF
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.
Stand Up India Scheme:
Why in News?
Stand Up India Scheme has completed 5 years. About Stand-up India Scheme:
It was launched in 2016.
It aims to promote entrepreneurship at the grass-root level of Economy leading to economic development and job creation.
Objective: Facilitate bank loans between ₹10 lakh and ₹1 crore to at least one SC or ST borrower and at least one womanborrower per bank branch to set up a Greenfield enterprise.
The offices of SIDBI and NABARD were designated Stand-Up Connect Centres (SUCC).
Eligibility of Beneficiarie sunder Stand Up India Scheme:
SC/ST and/or women entrepreneurs; above 18 years of age.
Loans are to be given only for Greenfield project.
Borrowersmust not be a defaulter to any financial institution.
Polity and Governance
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Why in News?
Supreme Court expressed concerns over in-charge arrangements for CBI Director and asked government to appoint a regular Director.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating police agency in India and functions under the administrative superintendence of the of Personnel, Ministry of Personnel, Pension & Public Grievances.
This ministry is directly under PMO.
For investigations of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, its superintendence vests with the Central Vigilance Commission.
It is the nodal police agency in India to coordinate the investigation on behalf of Interpol Member countries.
It is a non-statutory body deriving its power from Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946.
Types of Cases Handled by the CBI:
Anti-Corruption Crimes – Under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA)
Economic Crimes – for investigation of major financial scams and serious economic frauds.
Special Crimes – for investigation of serious and organized crime under the Indian Penal Code and other laws on the requests of State Governments or on the orders of the Supreme Court and High Courts.
Suo Moto Casesonly in the Union Territories.
The GoI can authorize CBI to investigate a crime in anystate only with the consent of the concerned State Government.
The Supreme Court and High Courts can order CBI investigation in a crime anywhere in the countryeven without the consent of the State.
The establishment of the CBI was recommended by the Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption (1962–1964).
Director of CBI:
Till 2014, the Director of CBI was appointed on the basis of the DSPE Act, 1946.
The Lokpal Act, 2014 provided a committee for appointment of CBI Director:
Headed by Prime Minister
Leader of Opposition/ Leader of the single largest opposition party,
Chief Justice of India/ a Supreme Court Judge.
Director of CBI is provided security of two-year tenure, under the CVC Act, 2003.
Places in News
Polavaram Irrigation Project is nearing its completion stage.
About Polavaram Irrigation Project:
Itis located in Andhra Pradesh on the river Godavari.
It is a multi-purpose irrigation project i.e., will provide irrigation facilities, supply driking water, hydroelectric power as well.
Also indirect benefits such as development of Pisciculture (breeding and rearing of fish), tourism and urbanisation is also expected.
About Godavari River:
It is the largest Peninsular river system, hence is also referred as the Dakshin Ganga.
Source: Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra.
Falls into the Bay of Bengal.
Basin: Extends over states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha and small parts in MP, Karnataka and UT of Puducherry.
Tributaries: Pravara, Wardha, Wainganga, Purna, Manjra, Penganga, Pranhita Indravati, Maner and the Sabri.
Kumbh Mela in Nasik takes place on the banks of the Godavari river.
Why in news?
Ministry of External Affairs has issued condolences to the victims of Taiwan’s worst Train accident which occurred recently.
Taiwan is also referred as the Republic of China (ROC).
It is an island off the southern coast of China.
It has been independently governed from mainland China since 1949.
China (officially the People’s Republic of China, PRC),
Taiwan holds distinction as the most populousstate that is not a member of the United Nations and also the largest economy outside the UN.
It is considered a global leader in chip manufacturing.
PRC views the island as a province, while in Taiwan (a territory with its own democratically elected government) leading political voices have differing views on the island’s status and its relationship with the mainland China.
News in Short
During election campaigns in Assam, this bridge is named frequently.
It is India’s longest railroad bridge (4.94 km).
It is over the river Brahmaputra connecting Dibrugarh and Dhemaji districts of Assam.
It was inaugurated in 2018.However, it was promised as a part of the Assam Accord in 1985 to improve the state’s infrastructure.
Sankalp se Siddhi:
It is launched by TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
It is a village digital outreachdrive to activate Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in these villages.
Van Dhan Vikas Kendras initiative aims to promote Minot Forest Produce(MFP)centric livelihood development of tribal gatherers and artisans.
Thus, it aims to mainstream the tribal community by promoting primary level value addition to MFP at grassroots level.