The 10% EWS quota was introduced under the ______Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019.
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has questioned the methodology adopted by the government in fixing Rs. 8 lakh as the annual income limit to identify the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) for providing 10% quota in public jobs and educational institutions.
- The 10% EWS quota was introduced under the 103rdConstitution (Amendment) Act, 2019 by amending Articles 15 and 16.
- It inserted Article 15 (6) and Article 16 (6).
- It is for economic reservation in jobs and admissions in education institutes for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS).
- It was enacted to promote the welfare of the poor not covered by the 50% reservation policy for Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).
- It enables both Centre and the states to provide reservation to the EWS of society.
The term ‘Bottom Trawling’ is associated with-
WHY IN NEWS?
The Union Government is considering increasing the unit cost of deep-sea fishing vessels from Rs 80 L to Rs 1.3 Cr under the Palk Bay scheme to make it more attractive to fisherfolk.
- Earlier, the Marine Fisheries Bill 2021 was tabled in the Parliament during the Monsoon session.
About Palk Bay Scheme:
- The Scheme, “Diversification Of Trawl Fishing Boats From Palk Straits Into Deep Sea Fishing Boats”, was launched in 2017 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
- It was launched as part of the umbrella Blue Revolution Scheme.
- The Blue Revolution is part of the Government’s efforts to promote fishing as an allied activity for farmers in order to double their incomes.
- It is a Tamil Nadu-specific scheme aimed at providing 2,000 vessels in three years to fishermen of the State and motivating them to abandon bottom trawling.
- Bottom trawling, an ecologically destructive practice, involves trawlers dragging weighted nets along the sea-floor, causing great depletion of aquatic resources.
- Another objective of the scheme is to “reduce fishing pressure” around the proximity of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) so that Tamil Nadu fishermen do not cross the IMBL and fish in Sri Lankan waters.
- The Funding pattern of the scheme is Centre 50%, State 20%, Institutional funding 10% and Beneficiary 20%.
- The Scheme is limited to vessels costing upto Rs. 80 Lakh.
- The scheme is not part of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
Marine Fisheries Bill:
The Bill proposes to only grant licenses to vessels registered under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958, to fish in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
- It also proposes punishments for fishermen breaching the EEZ without a licence, not complying with Indian Coast Guard (ICG) orders, and obstructing ICG officials.
- The Bill prohibits fishing by foreign fishing vessels, thus nationalising our EEZ.
- It proposes social security for fish workers and calls for protection of life at sea during severe weather events.
Which conglomerate has won the bid to acquire Air India?
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the government approved the highest price bid of Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd for sale (Disinvesting) of 100% equity shareholding of Government of India in Air India (AI).
- The Tatas will own 100% stake in AI, as also 100% in its international low-cost arm Air India Express and 50% in the ground handling joint venture, AI SATS.
Reasons for Disinvestment:
- It is hoped that with AI passing into the private sector, its operations and costs will get streamlined, services on board will improve and basic services like wi-fi will also be made available.
- A strong international carrier in India will give a boost to the large airports built in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru which along with AI will be able to win back some of the tourist dollars from Indians travelling abroad who are currently travelling on foreign carriers.
- A successful turnaround of Air India could also help the Indian economy as it is a well-established fact that aviation has a multiplier effect on the economy.
- There is a pressure on the government to raise resources to support the economic recovery and meet expectations of higher outlays for healthcare.
- It will save taxpayers money from paying for daily losses of AI.
- It will help push other tough decisions the government is keen on taking.
- It will possibly give the option of flying one more low-cost carrier domestically.
Ratings agency Moody's has given _____ investment grade to India.
WHY IN NEWS?
Ratings agency Moody’s has changed India’s sovereign rating outlook to “Stable” from “Negative” and affirmed the country’s rating at “Baa3″.
- “Baa3″ rating is the lowest investment grade, just a notch above junk status (Speculative).
Sovereign Credit Rating (SCR):
- SCR isan independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country or sovereign entity.
- It can give investors insights into the level of risk associated with investing in the debt of a particular country, including any political risk.
- In addition to issuing bonds in external debt markets, another common motivation for countries to obtain a sovereign credit rating is to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
- At the request of the country, a credit rating agency will evaluate its economic and political environment to assign it a rating.
- Moody’s considers a Baa3 or higher rating to be of investment grade, and a rating of Ba1 and below is speculative.
- S&P gives a BBB- or higher rating to countries it considers investment grade, and grades of BB+ or lower are deemed to be speculative or “junk” grade.
Economic Survey’s Stance on SCRs:
- India has consistently beenrated below expectation as compared to its performance on various parameters during the period 2000-20.
- India remained a clear outlier on several parameters such as GDP growth rate, inflation, general government debt, political stability, rule of law, control of corruption, investor protection, ease of doing business, sovereign default history, etc.
- India’s ability to pay can be gauged not only by the extremely low foreign currency-denominated debt of the sovereign but also by the comfortable size of its foreign exchange reserves that can pay for the short term debt of the private sector as well as the entire stock of India’s sovereign and non-sovereign external debt.
- India’s fiscal policy should be guided by considerations of growth and development rather than be restrained by “biased and subjective” sovereign credit ratings.
- It recommended that developing economies must come together to address this bias and subjectivity inherent in sovereign credit ratings methodology to prevent exacerbation of crises in future.
The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to-
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.
- In 2020, the award was given to the World Food Programme (WFP), a United Nations (UN) agency.
- Other 2021 Nobel Prizes for Literature, Chemistry, Physics and Medicine have already been announced.
- She is an investigative journalist, in 2012 she co-founded Rappler, a digital media platform for investigative journalism, which she continues to head.
- Rappler has focused critical attention on President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign.
- In the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, the Philippines ranked 138 of 180 nations (India was ranked lower, at 142).
- She has also authored Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center, and From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism.
- Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions”.
- Russia has ranked 150 in the 2021 World Freedom Index.
- He along with around 50 colleagues started Novaya Gazeta (Newspaper) in 1993, as one of its founders. He has served as the newspaper’s editor-in-chief since 1995.
- Committee to Protect Journalists, a US-based non-profit, had felicitated Muratov as one of its International Press Freedom awardees in 2007.
- Six of Muratov’s colleagues have been killed since the newspaper started, which has often faced harassment, threats, violence and murder from its opponents.
- Despite the killings and threats, editor-in-chief Muratov has refused to abandon the newspaper’s independent policy.
The scientific name Tinospora cordifolia belongs to-
WHY IN NEWS?
According to the Ministry of AYUSH, Giloy or Guduchi, a popularly known herb is safe to use.
- However, similar looking plants in circulation such as Tinospora crispa can be harmful. Tinospora crispa is a medicinal plant belonging to the botanical family Menispermaceae and is widely distributed in Southeast Asia and the northeastern region of India.
- Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia)is a climbing shrub that grows on other trees, from the botanical family Menispermaceae.
- It is an essential herb in Ayurvedic medicine and all its parts are thought to have health benefits.
- People have long used it to treat a wide range of issues, including fever, infections, diarrhoea and diabetes.
- Guduchi’s hepato-protective properties are well established and is known for its immense therapeutic applications and the practices are regulated in accordance with various applicable provisions.
- Hepatoprotection or anti-hepatotoxicity is the ability of a chemical substance to prevent damage to the liver.
- The plant is native to India but also found in China and tropical areas of Australia and Africa.
- The Ministry of AYUSH has a well-established system of Pharmacovigilance (for reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions from AYUSH medication), with its network spreading across all over India.
What is the IUCN status of Javan Gibbon?
WHY IN NEWS?
Indonesia is taking steps to protect the habitat of Javan Gibbon (Hylobates moloch), which is endangered by climate change and human encroachment.
- The species is also hunted for both meat and pet trade.
- The silvery gibbon, also known as the Javan gibbon, is a primate. They are found in groups only, usually in a pair of two.
- It is endemic to the Indonesian island of Java, where it inhabits undisturbed rainforests up to an altitude of 2,450 m.
- It helps in regenerating forest vegetation by dispersing seeds.
- There are around 4,000 Javan gibbons left.
- It was declared Critically Endangered in 2004 but since has recovered to status of Endangered as per IUCN criterion. However, the latest IUCN estimate shows that their population is decreasing.