Daily Current Affairs – Nov 7, 2023
GS- I >> Geography >> Mapping
Context: Recently, IIT Madras establishes first international campus in Tanzania’s Zanzibar.
- East African country, borders Indian Ocean, situated just south of Equator.
- Bounded by Uganda, and Kenya (north), Mozambique and Zambia (south and southwest), and Burundi, and Rwanda (west).
- Highest peak: Mount Kilimanjaro
- Major rivers: River Congo, River Rufiji, and River Ruvuma.
- Major lake: Lake Tanganyika (west), Lake Victoria (north), and Lake Malawi (aka Lake Nyasa).
- Parts of East African Rift pass through Tanzania, creating dramatic escarpments and volcanic features.
GS- III >> Economy >> Food Distribution System
Context: The Prime Minister has announced the extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) programme by five years.
Distribution of Food Grains Under National Food Security Act (NFSA):
- Target Population: 67% (75%- Rural; 50%- Urban).
- Categorisation of households: Priority households (5kg per person per month); Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) households (35 kg of food grains per household per month).
- Food grains provided: Rs 1/2/3 per kg for Nutri Cereals/wheat/rice respectively.
About Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY):
- Nodal Ministry: Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- The name of the new scheme is similar to that of the free foodgrain scheme implemented as part of the Centre’s Covid-19 package announced in 2020.
- However, the difference between the two:
- In the earlier scheme (Covid-19 package), about 81 crore NFSA beneficiaries were entitled to get free of cost 5 kg foodgrain per person in a month over and above their monthly entitlements.
- However, they were required to pay the subsidised rate of foodgrains (Rs 3 per kg rice, Rs 2 per kg wheat and Rs 1 per kg coarse grains) to purchase the quantity for which they were entitled (35 kg per Antyodaya Anna Yojana Household and 5kg per person to a Priority Household in a month).
- In the new scheme, the government has done away with the subsided prices and is providing food grains free of cost for a year.
- But now the additional quantity, which was available during the Covid pandemic, will not be provided to these beneficiaries.
- They will receive as much quantity of foodgrains, for which they are entitled under the NFSA.
GS- III >> Economy >> Banking
Context: Fintech can emerge as substitute for traditional banking, says RBI’s CAFRAL
- The Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL) is an independent body set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the backdrop of India’s evolving role in the global economy, in the financial services sector and its position in various international fora.
- CAFRAL seeks to develop into a world class global institution for research and learning in banking and finance.
- The Governor of RBI is the Chairman of the Governing Council of CAFRAL.
- CAFRAL’s learning arm is engaged in conducting seminars, conferences and other learning programs that serve as a platform for exchange of high-level policy dialogues between the various stakeholders by bringing together regulators, policy makers, bankers, academicians, researchers and practitioners.
- It also conducts advanced programs for enhancing professional capabilities of senior executives in the financial sector.
GS- III >> Environment >> International Conventions
Context: Recently, the fifth meeting of Conference of Parties (COP 5) to Minamata Convention held in Geneva.
About Minamata Convention:
- Minamata Convention on mercury, adopted in 2013, is first global legally binding treaty to protect human health and environment from adverse effects of mercury.
- It came into force in 2017 and India ratified it in 2018.
- Mercury may have toxic effects on nervous system, thyroid, kidneys, lungs, immune system, eyes, skin etc.
Key decisions adopted at COP 5:
- For the first time, COP pushed to reduce mercury supply sources and trade by strengthening capacities at national level and developing study on global supply, trade, production and use of mercury compounds.
- Implementation of projects and programmes undertaken under Convention with participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.
- Limit of 15 mg/kg concentration of mercury is set as threshold for wastes contaminated with mercury or mercury compounds.
- Amend Annex A of Convention to list phaseout dates for certain types of batteries, switches and relays, fluorescent lamps, and cosmetics.
- Amend Annex B of Convention to mandate phaseout of mercury in polyurethane production by 2025.
Various annexes of convention:
- Annex A: It contains Mercury-added products. E.g., Batteries, compact fluorescent lamps, pesticides, biocides etc.
- Annex B: It contains Manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used. E.g., Production of polyurethane using mercury catalysts.
- Annex C: It contains Artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
- Annex D: It contains List of point sources of emissions of mercury and mercury compounds to atmosphere.
- Annex E: It contains arbitration and conciliation procedures.