Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SAARC comes out with poverty profile

A poverty profile for eight South Asian nations, including India, was released here today to share of the best practices and experiences towards poverty alleviation in the region.
Inaugurating the two-day SAARC Symposium on the Best Practices in Poverty Alleviation here, Nepal's interim Prime Minister Khil Raj Regmi said "with consistent focus on poverty alleviation the member states have been able to lift a quarter of the population from abject poverty over the past two decades."
On the occasion, Regmi also launched the SAARC Regional Poverty Profile (RPP), 2009-10. The profile is aimed at sharing of the best practices and experiences towards poverty alleviation in the region. The RPP focuses on the food security challenges for the poor and social inclusion in South Asia.
Delivering the welcome remarks Ahmed Saleem, Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) recapitulated the initiatives taken by SAARC in reducing poverty in the region.
He made particular references to the directives of the successive SAARC Summits in the area of poverty alleviation.
"The primary purpose of the Symposium was to facilitate the sharing of the best practices in poverty alleviation and to develop strategies to upscale these practices individually or collectively to eradicate poverty from our region," he said highlighting the objectives of the Symposium.
Saumitra Chaudhari, member Planning Commission of India, said that the rural economy has grown in India and the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act is playing a key role as it has ensured generation of employment and increase of wages in the rural sector.
Rural connectivity and access to market play a vital role along with logistic support and other practices such as horticulture and animal husbandry which would help small farmers, Chaudhary pointed out.
In January 2004, the 12th SAARC Summit declared poverty alleviation as the "overarching goal" of SAARC. Since then, the Association has undertaken several measures to free South Asia from poverty. SAARC is currently observing the decade, 2006-2015, as the SAARC Decade of Poverty Alleviation.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Increase in Total Broadband Subscriber Base

Total Broadband subscriber base in the country has increased from 15.19 million at the end of June 2013 to 15.24 million at the end of July 2013. This is a monthly growth of 0.33%. Yearly growth in broadband subscribers is 3.79% during the last one year (July 2012 to July 2013). 

As per the latest telecom subscription data (as on 31st July 2013) released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), there are 161 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) which are providing broadband services in the country. Out of these, 121 ISPs (having 98.48% market share) have provided broadband subscription data for the month of July 2013, for the rest of the ISPs data from previous month has been retained. Top five ISPs in terms of market share (based on subscriber base) are: BSNL (9.97 million), Bharti Airtel (1.43 million), MTNL (1.10 million), Hathway (0.37 million) and You Broadband (0.32 million). 

People’s Linguistic Survey of India

A new study, the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, says that the official number of languages in India, 122, is far lower than the 780 that it counted and another 100 that its authors suspect exist.

The survey, which was conducted over the past four years by 3,000 volunteers and staff of the Bhasha Research & Publication Centre (“Bhasha” means “language” in Hindi), also concludes that 220 Indian languages have disappeared in the last 50 years, and that another 150 could vanish in the next half century as speakers die and their children fail to learn their ancestral tongues.

The 35,000-page survey was released on 5 Septeber 2013, to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Indian philosopher Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, who was also the country’s second President. 

Ganesh Devy, who supervised the project, said this is the first comprehensive survey of Indian languages that anyone has conducted since Irish linguistic scholar George Grierson noted the existence of 364 languages between 1894 and 1928.

There is a major reason for the disparity in the government’s number of languages versus what the survey found: the government does not count languages that fewer than 10,000 people speak. Devy and his volunteers, on the other hand, combed the country to find languages such as Chaimal in Tripura, which is today spoken by just four or five people.

One of the most interesting aspects of the project is Devy’s view of language as a marker of the well being of a community. Languages are being born and dying as they evolve–note how Old English is unintelligible today, and how different is Chaucer’s Middle English from ours–and that is a natural process. But bringing attention to Indian languages with small numbers of speakers, Devy said, is a way of bringing attention to the societies that speak them, along with the well being of their people.

Insurance repository

Insurance repository is a facility that allows you to hold insurance plans in the demat form. As is the case with shares and bonds, which can be held in a demat account with a depository, you can keep your insurance policies in an e-insurance account with an insurance repository. Even if you have policies from multiple insurance companies, they can be stored in the same account. As of now, only life insurance policies and pension plans are being allowed to be held in e-insurance accounts. The facility will eventually be extended to health, car, home and other forms of general insurance. The policyholder has to pay nothing to open an e-insurance account or hold the policies in the demat form. The insurance companies will recoup their costs from the savings in policy issuance and delivery. IRDA has given five companies the status of insurance repositories and provided with a licence that will be valid till July 31, 2014. The five companies are: NSDL Database Management Limited, Central Insurance Repository Limited, SHCIL Projects Limited, CAMS Repository Services Limited and Karvy Insurance Repository Limited.

World Happiness Report 2013

According to the 2013 World Happiness Report by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden are the world’s happiest countries. Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo—all nations in Sub-Saharan Africa—are the least satisfied with their lives. The United States came in at number 17 and lags behind Canada (6), Australia (10), Israel (11) the United Arab Emirates (14) and Mexico (16).  India has been ranked 94, Bangladesh 104, Pakistan 85 and China is 112 among 156 countries. The 2013 World Happiness Report comes on the back of a growing global movement calling for governments and policy makers to reduce their emphasis on achieving economic growth and focus on policies that can improve people's overall well-being. An idea first proposed in 1972 by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the concept of “happiness economics” has now gained traction in many countries across the world. The UN first encouraged member countries to measure and use the happiness of their people to guide public policies in July 2011.

Raghuram Rajan panel report

The Raghuram Rajan panel report has made a case for ending the ‘special category’ criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer States, as it ranked Goa and Kerala as the economically most advanced States and Odisha and Bihar the least.

The committee, headed by the then chief economic advisor Raghuram Rajan (now RBI Governor) was set up by the government amid demand for “special category” status by Bihar. It has  suggested a new methodology for devolving funds on States based on a ‘multi dimensional index (MDI)’.

The committee has suggested that the 28 States be split into three categories—least developed, less developed and relatively developed—depending upon their MDI scores. As regards the allocation of funds, the report has suggested that each State should get a basic fixed allocation and an additional allocation depending on its development needs and development performance.

According to the committee, these two recommendations, along with the allocation methodology, will effectively subsume what is now “special category” status.

Based on the MDI scores, the 10 least developed Atates are Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The seven most developed States are Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand and Haryana.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

National Rural Drinking Water Programme

The aim and objective of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other basic domestic needs on a sustainable basis, with a minimum water quality standard, which should be conveniently accessible at all times and in all situations. Achieving this aim and objective is a continuous process. 

In the 12th Five Year Plan period, under the NRDWP, the Ministry is giving special emphasis on piped water supply in rural habitations. States are being asked to plan for coverage of habitations with piped water supply through stand posts or household connections. In addition to the fact that this shall reduce the drudgery and time taken in the collection of water, it shall also facilitate in tackling the problem of drinking water quality in the habitations affected with water issues. In addition, to accelerate the setting up piped water supply systems in rural areas in States where such coverage is low, the Ministry has proposed a project with World Bank support in parts of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh which focuses on setting up piped water supply systems. At the beginning of Bharat Nirman Phase I, as on 1.4.2005, it was targeted to cover 55,067 uncovered, 3,31,604 slipped back and 2,16,968 quality affected habitations with adequate safe drinking water supply. Against this, as reported by the States on the online Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, as on 15.8.2013, 55,193 uncovered, 8,33,304 partially covered/slipped back and 1,52,371 quality affected habitations have been covered. This includes newly identified Uncovered, Slipped-back, partially covered habitations and Quality affected habitations. 

The reasons for not fully achieving the targets of coverage of habitations include high capital costs of large multi-village schemes to bring water from distant safe sources, time taken for planning, designing, sanctioning, procuring, execution and commissioning of such schemes, slipping back of habitations to partially covered status due to drying up of drinking water sources; lowering of ground water table; drinking water sources becoming contaminated due to natural and man-made causes; water supply systems outliving their life; systems working below rated capacities; poor operation and management of systems; increase in population and emergence of new habitations, procurement issues, etc. 

To assist in addressing the above issues, the Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to States under the NRDWP, to supplement their efforts to provide adequate safe drinking water to the rural population. In 2013-14, Rs. 11000 crore has been allocated under the NRDWP. In order to achieve the targets under NRDWP, the State Governments are vested with powers to plan, approve and implement drinking water supply schemes. The State Governments, in consultation with the Central Ministry, prepare Annual Action Plans (AAP) each year, to implement rural water supply schemes to cover partially covered and quality affected habitations and for other activities. 

To ensure sustainability of functioning of rural water supply schemes, the States have to adopt improved Operation & Maintenance (O&M) methods for their better working and to control leakages. Up to 15% of funds allocated to States under NRDWP can be utilised for O&M. To ensure the sustainability of drinking water sources, the State can utilise 10% of their allocation. To ensure supply of safe drinking water, 5% of national allocation is earmarked for allocation to States with chemical contamination affected habitations and areas reporting Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis cases (JE/AES). Further, 67% of funds allocated to States can be utilised for coverage of water quality affected habitations. To facilitate water quality testing, a separate Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance Component with 3% of NRDWP allocation has been created to strengthen water quality testing practices in States. To incentivise States to involve the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) in the planning, operation and management for drinking water supply schemes, a Management Devolution Index has been formulated to measure the extent of devolution of powers made by States to the PRIs with respect to Funds, Functions and Functionaries in regard to drinking water supply. 10% of funds under NRDWP are kept for allocation to States on the basis of their MDI scores. The Ministry has set up a robust web-based monitoring mechanism at the central level to monitor the implementation of water supply schemes under the NRDWP in the States. 

Under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme NRDWP, various mechanisms have been put in place to monitor the activities at different levels. The State Governments are required to prepare and discuss with the Central Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, an Annual Action Plan to implement various components and activities of the NRDWP. Every year, the States have to mark the habitations targeted for coverage and provide details of works, schemes and activities being taken up, on the on-line Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry. The physical and the financial progress being made by States have to be reported on a monthly basis on the IMIS. The Ministry monitors the information provided regularly, and States which are lagging behind in the implementation of the programme, both in terms of physical achievements and financial expenditure, are advised to take appropriate corrective measures. Senior Officers, Area Officers and Technical Officers of the Ministry tour the States to assess the progress in the implementation of the Programme. The Ministry also conducts meetings of the Secretaries in charge of rural water supply, regional review meetings, video-conferences, etc. through which implementation of NRDWP is monitored. Assessment of achievements is done through periodic evaluations of the programme by the Ministry and the Planning Commission. 

The deficiencies which have been noticed in the implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) in some States include the non-achievement of annual targets of coverage of rural habitations, especially quality affected habitations, and the inadequate utilization of central funds in time resulting in high unspent balances. 

The reasons for some States being unable to spend the available funds under NRDWP fully and in time include delays in procurement processes, taking up multi-village schemes that require 2-3 years for completion thus delaying expenditure, delays in preparatory activities, long time taken for completion of legal formalities including obtaining various clearances, delayed release of funds to implementing authorities etc. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Rajan Committee’s new methodology to replace ‘special category’ status for devolution of funds to States

The panel set up by the government under the chairmanship of the then Chief Economic Advisor Raghuram Rajan (now RBI governor) has suggested ending the ‘special category’ criteria for providing additional assistance to poorer states.
 Rajan Committee:
The Union Government set up Raghuram Rajan Committee amid demands for “special category” status by Bihar and some other status to get additional financial assistance from the Centre. The Committee was tasked to suggest methods for identifying backwardness of states using a variety of criteria and also to recommend how the criteria may be reflected in future planning and devolution of funds from the central government to the states.
Key recommendations of the Rajan Committee:
The Rajan Committee has made two key recommendations for devolution of funds to states. They are:
a) A new methodology based on a ‘Multi Dimensional Index (MDI)’.
Depending on the scores of the 28 states on the MDI, they will be split into 3 categories:
  1. Least developed
  2. Less developed
  3. Relatively developed
b) Each state should get a basic fixed allocation and an additional allocation depending on its development needs and development performance. 
As per the Committee, these two recommendations, along with the allocation methodology, will effectively subsume what is now “Special Category” status.
According to the MDI scores: 
  • Least Developed states: Odisha, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • Less Developed statesManipur, West Bengal, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Gujarat, Tripura, Karnataka, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
  • Relatively Developed states: Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand and Haryana.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Indian Economy Practice Questions

1. Which of the following has become the first Regional Rural Bank to issue a debit card in the country? 
(A) Punjab Gramin Bank (B) Punjab National Bank 
(C) Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank (D) Ahmedabad RRB 
Answer: Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank 

2. Which of the following statements is/are correct? 
1. Maharashtra ranks first in the length of roadways among various States of the country. 
2. National Highways comprise only about 2 percent of the total length of roads and carry about 40 percent of the total traffic. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

3. With reference to Finance Commission which of the following statements is/are correct? 
1. The recommendations of 13th Finance Commission are applicable between the period 2010-15. 
2. Formation of 13th. Finance Commission was delayed due to presidential election. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: 1 only 

4. National Social Security Fund has been created in order to– 
(A) fund workers of unorganised sector including weavers, rickshaw pullers, bidi makers, etc. 
(B) finance workers of organised sector. 
(C) help create self employment opportunities for unemployed youth. 
(D) to finance self help groups. 
Answer: fund workers of unorganised sector including weavers, rickshaw pullers, bidi makers, etc. 

5. Consider the following statements– 
1. Raising the repo rate will control inflation and rein in inflationary expectation. 
2. Monetary policy operates largely through demand compression in the short run. 
3. Manufacturing sector has emerged as the key driver of growth in the Indian economy. 
Which of the above statements is/are correct? 
(A) 1 and 3 (B) 1 and 2 
(C) 2 and 3 (D) All of these 
Answer: 1 and 2 

6. Which of the following is/are the major contributory factor(s) to high inflation related to current Indian economic scenario? 
(A) Higher primary articles prices such as vegetables, eggs, meat and fish. 
(B) High global commodity prices such as metal and chemical prices. 
(C) High international crude and petroleum prices. 
(D) All of these 
Answer: All of these 

7. Which of following statements stand/s correct on the account of sharp depreciation of ‘Rupee’?
1. Decrease in foreign institutional investor inflows. 
2. Withdrawal of investment by foreign investors because of the economic meltdown in Europe and inflation in emerging market economy. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

8. With reference to India’s external debt profile which of the following statements is/are correct? 
(A) There is an overwhelming dominance of long-term borrowings over short-term debt 
(B) External debt to GDP ratio shows that India’s external debt is within the manageable limits, 
(C) Raising sovereign loans on concessional terms with long-term maturities has been given priority, 
(D) All of these 
Answer: All of these 

9. Which of the following does not include monetary policy instruments? 
(A) Repo rate (B) Cash reserve ratio 
(C) Open market operations (D) Foreign direct investment 
Answer: Foreign direct investment 

10. Which of the following is concerned with inequality in distribution of family income? 
(A) Gini Multiplier (B) Gini Index 
(C) Lorenz Curve (D) Laffer Curve 
Answer: Gini Index 

11. The thrust of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) is on– 
(A) establishing a fully functional, community-owned decentralised health delivery system. 
(B) providing accessible, affordable and accountable quality health services to all. 
(C) functional health system at the district level.
(D) institutional integration with the fragmented health sector. 
Answer: establishing a fully functional, community-owned decentralised health delivery system. 

12. Consider the following statements with reference to National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM)– 
1. National Rural Livelihood Mission has been launched with the aim to eliminate poverty in rural areas. 
2. Under NRLM, self-help groups will be constituted in the form of federation to provide self-employment opportunities to the rural people. 
Which of the above statements is/are correct? 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

13. Which of the following does not lead to increase in foreign exchange reserves? 
1. Devaluation of Rupee. 
2. Increased foreign investment. 
3. Supply of dollar by Central Bank. 
4. Availability of loans from international institutions. 
(A) 1 and 2 only (B) 2, 3 and 4 
(C) 1, 2 and 4 (D) All of these 
Answer: 1, 2 and 4 

14. Consider the following statements– 
1. A flexible external commercial borrowing (ECB) policy was an important reason why India emerged largely unscathed from the global economic crisis. 
2. The liberalisation of ECB policy has to keep in view the need to maintain sustainable level of external debt ratios. 
Which of the above statements is/are incorrect? 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: 1 only 

15. Which of the following countries signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India in 2011? 
(A) Japan (B) Malaysia 
(C) Canada (D) Australia 
Answer: Japan 

16. Which of the following consists of major water-polluting industries? 
1. Fertilisers 2. Refineries 3. Pulp & paper 
4. Plastic 5. Thermal 
(A) 1, 2 and 3 only (B) 2, 3 and 4 
(C) 4 and 5 only (D) All of these 
Answer: 1, 2 and 3 only 

17. Which of the following emissions are considered as Green House gas emissions under Kyoto Protocol mechanism? 
1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) 2. Methane (CH4
3. Nitrous oxide (N2O) 4. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 
5. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) 
(A) 1, 2 and 3 only (B) 2, 3 and 4 only 
(C) 1, 2, 3 and 4 (D) All of these 
Answer: All of these 

18. Consider the following statements– 
1. Census 2011 is the 15th census of India since 1872. 
2. Census 2011 was conducted in two phases. 
Which of these statements is/are correct? 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

19. Which of the following statements is/are correct? 
1. ‘Customs Duty’ revenue earned by the Union Government is not distributed to the States. 
2. ‘Commodity Exchanges’ market is independently regulated by Forward Market Commissions. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

20. Select the correct statement(s): 
1. National Rural Development Institute is situated at Hyderabad. 
2. The headquarter of SIDBI is located in Lucknow. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2

Indian Economy Practice MCQs

1. Child sex ratio in the age group 0-6 years as per provisional Census 2011 report is– 
(A) 921 (B) 925 
(C) 914 (D) 920 
Answer: 914 

2. Consider the following statements– 
1. Indian Railways is the second largest rail network in the world under a single management. 
2. In Indian Railways, about 50% of the total track km has been electrified. 
Which of the above statements is/are correct? 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: 1 only 

3. An ‘Innovation fund’ of Rs. 5,000 crore has been planned by the government with an aim to– 
(A) promote research and development in defence sector. 
(B) promote new talents and their innovation tendencies. 
(C) finance the promotional activities to attract foreign direct investment. 
(D) promote the development of new generation satellites. 
Answer: promote new talents and their innovation tendencies.

4. With reference to Manufacturing consider the following statements– 
1. Manufacturing occupies an unusually large weight (65 percent), relative to its share in national output. 
2. It has an exaggerated bearing on inflation measurement in India. 
Which of the above statements is/are correct? 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

5. With reference to growth in Indian economy which of the following statements is/are correct? 
1. The long-term growth rate of the agriculture sector over the last 60 years has been 2.7 percent.
2. Industrial sector registered a higher growth rate than the services sector ever since Independence. 
3. Services sector accounts for highest share of sectoral composition of GDP followed by Industry and Agriculture. 
(A) 1 and 3 (B) 2 and 3 
(C) 1 and 2 (D) All of these 
Answer: 1 and 3 

6. Scheduled Commercial Banks are allowed to borrow at their own discretion using– 
(A) Net demand and time liabilities (B) Marginal standing facility 
(C) Open market operation (D) None of these 
Answer: Marginal standing facility 

7. Which of the following does not mainly consist of Portfolio Investment? 
(A) FII investment (B) American depository receipts (ADRs) 
(C) Global depository receipts (GDRs) (D) None of these 
Answer: None of these 

8. Which of the following does not contribute to sustainable development? 
(A) Improvement of economic well being with social justice. 
(B) Restrained use of, natural resources. 
(C) Protection of interests of future generations. 
(D) None of these 
Answer: None of these 

9. Which Committee set up by RBI has the mandate to study issues and concerns in the micro-finance sector? 
(A) Y. H. Malegam Committee (B) J. J. Irani Committee 
(C) Mashelkar Committee (D) None of these 
Answer: Y. H. Malegam Committee 

10. A state of economy where aggregate demand is greater than the total supply of goods and services is called– 
(A) Repressed-inflation (B) Reflation 
(C) Deflation (D) Demand pull-inflation 
Answer: Repressed-inflation 

11. Which of the following-forms a major innovation of National Rural Health Mission? 
(A) Creation of a cadre of Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA). 
(B) Improvised hospital care. 
(C) Decentralisation at district level arid effective utilisation of resources through NGOs and community. 
(D) All of these 
Answer: All of these 

12. Which of the following forms an important component of the foreign exchange reserves of the country? 
(A) Foreign exchange assets of RBI (B) Gold reserves of RBI 
(C) SDR holdings of the Government (D) All of these 
Answer: All of these 

13. According to World Bank’s “Global Development Finance, 2012” report, India is the fifth most indebted country, after China, the Russian Federation, Brazil and– 
(A) Turkey (B) Indonesia 
(C) United States of America (D) Greece 
Answer: Turkey 

14. Portfolio Investment consists of the following–
1. Foreign direct investment 2. Foreign institutional investment 
3. American depository receipts 4. Global depository receipts 
Select the correct code–
(A) 1 and 2 only (B) 2, 3 and 4 
(C) 1 and 4 (D) 1, 2 and 3 
Answer: 2, 3 and 4 

15. In which group of crops, growth rate in yield levels appears to have plateaued over the last few years? 
(A) Rice and Wheat (B) Pulses and Mustard 
(C) Sugarcane and Oilseeds (D) Coarse cereals and plantation crop 
Answer: Rice and Wheat 

16. Which of the following forms part of National Manufacturing Policy? 
1. Provision for National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs). 
2. Create appropriate skill sets among the rural migrant and urban poor for their easy absorption in manufacturing. 
3. Enable manufacturing to contribute at least 25% of GDP by 2022. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) 1 and 2 (D) All of these 
Answer: All of these 

17. Consider the following statements with regard to Environmental Performance Index– 
1. India’s Environmental Performance Index rank is 122 out of 132 countries. 
2. India’s performance is better on protection of its forests and fisheries. 
(A) 1 only (B) 2 only 
(C) Both 1 and 2 (D) Neither 1 nor 2 
Answer: Both 1 and 2 

18. Which of the following States has formed ‘Innovation Council’ based on the lines of National Innovation Council? 
(A) Bihar (B) Haryana 
(C) Karnataka (D) West Bengal 
Answer: Haryana 

19. ‘Stagflation’ indicates– 
(A) Inflation with growth (B) Deflation with growth 
(C) Inflation with depression (D) Inflation with stagnation 
Answer: Inflation with depression 

20. Which group of labour comes under the provision of Aam Admi Yojana? 
(A) All labour in rural areas 
(B) Only labour of urban region 
(C) All landless labour living below poverty line in rural areas 
(D) None of these
Answer: All landless labour living below poverty line in rural areas

Thursday, August 22, 2013

NPAs of Public Sector Banks

As per provisional data received from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) as on 30th June 2013 was Rs. 1,76,009 crore.  The Gross NPAs of PSBs were Rs. 1, 12,489 crore in March 2012 and Rs. 1, 55,890 crore in March, 2013.

Although the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of the bank has shown a rising trend, the position is continuously and closely being monitored by the Bank and there is no cause for alarm. The stress on the asset quality is a reflection of the stress in the economy of the country.

The details of recovery made by PSBs through suit filed cases, as available with RBI, are as under:
(Amt. in Rs. Crore)
Suit Filed
Amt Recovered
%age of Recovery

Sex Ratio

The Sex Ratio in the country has shown an improvement. As per the Census, sex ratio has increased from 933 females per thousand males in 2001 to 943 females per thousand males in 2011. State/UT-wise details of sex ratio are annexed.
The Government has been exhorting the States and UTs to pay utmost attention for effective implementation of theprovisions of the Pre-Conception & Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994. Recently, on 18.05.2013, the Union Health Minister requested all the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors/ Administrators of UTs, to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the Act. The Union Health Secretary has also urged the Chief Secretaries and Secretaries (Health & FW) of all States/ UTs, to establish mechanism for monitoring and to take deterrent follow up action for effective implementation of the PC & PNDT Act. In response to these initiatives, State/UT Governments while reaffirming commitment towards strict compliance of the provisions of the Act, have taken a number of initiatives in this direction.

Government has provided funds to the States & UTs for implementation of the Act. Setting up of PNDT cells to monitor implementation of the Act, is one of the activities for which funds are provided to the States/UTs. Details of funds allocated/released and utilized for PNDT activities during each of the last three years are as under:-

Rs. in Lakh
Financial year

* Allocation includes Innovations/Public Private Partnership/Non-Governmental Organisation of PC & PNDT.

Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy devising schemes, programmes and awareness generation/advocacy measures to build a positive environment for the girl child through gender sensitive policies, provisions and legislation.

The measures include the following:-

·   The Government has intensified effective implementation of the said Act and amended various provisions of the Rules relating to sealing, seizure and confiscation of unregistered machines and punishment against unregistered clinics. Regulation of use of portable ultrasound equipment only within the registered premises has been notified. Restriction on medical practitioners to conduct ultrasonography at maximum of two ultrasound facilities within a district has been placed. Registration fees have been enhanced. Rules have been amended to provide for advance intimation in change in employees, place, address or equipment.

·  The Central Supervisory Board (CSB) under the PNDT Act has been reconstituted and regular meetings are being held. The 21st meeting of the CSB has recently been held on 23.07.2013.

·  The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has been requested to block sex selection advertisements on websites.

·  The National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) has been reconstituted and inspections of ultrasound diagnostic facilities have been intensified. Inspections have been carried out in many States including Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.

·  The Government is rendering financial support to the States and UTs for operationalisation of PNDT Cells, Capacity Building, Orientation & Sensitisation Workshop, Information, Education and Communication campaigns and for strengthening structures for the implementation of the Act under the National Rural Health Mission(NRHM).

·   States have been advised to focus on Districts/Blocks/Villages with low Child Sex Ratio to ascertain the causes, plan appropriate behaviour change communication campaigns and effectively implement provisions of the PC & PNDT Act.

·  Religious leaders, women achievers etc. are also being involved in the campaign against skewed child sex ratio and discrimination of the girl child.

State/UT-wise details of sex ratio
Sl. No.

Jammu & Kashmir
Himachal Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
West Bengal
Madhya Pradesh
Daman & Diu
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Andhra Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Andaman & Nicobar Islands