23 , December 2017

Blue Flag Beach Certificate

  • With prime objective of enhancing standards of cleanliness, upkeep and basic amenities at beaches, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched a pilot project for beach cleanup and development, also striving for the “Blue Flag” Certification for such identified beaches.
  • Under the pilot programme, each of the coastal State/UT was requested to identify/nominate a beach, to be funded through the ongoing Integrated Coastal Management Programme.
  • All the coastal States have nominated the pilot beaches in their receptive territories including Goa. Formal nominations are, however, awaited from the coastal UTs viz., Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar.

Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)

  • This Scheme [now renamed as Anganwadi Services under Umbrella ICDS Scheme] envisages the Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWHs) as “honorary workers” from the local community who come forward to render their services, on part time basis, in the area of child care and development.
  • With an aim to provide each Anganwadi Centre with its own building, joint guidelines have been issued by Ministries of Women & Child Development, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj on 17.02.2016 for construction of 4 lakhs Anganwadi Centre buildings across the country by 2019 under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in convergence with Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme.

Ganga Swachhata Manch

  • Ganga Gram vision is an integrated approach for holistic development of villages situated on the banks of River Ganga with active participation of the villagers.
  • The objectives of Ganga Gram Project include solid and liquid waste management, renovation of ponds and water resources, water conservation projects, organic farming, horticulture, and promotion of medicinal plants.
  • Ganga Swachhata Manch, a forum of individuals, academicians, civil society organisations and the like, which has been formed upon the initiative of Hon’ble Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation
  • This Manch has been created for awareness creation, knowledge sharing, learning and advocacy for the Ganga Gram Project.

PCA only to improve banks’ health, says RBI
Source: The Hindu

The RBI has once again clarified that prompt correction action (PCA) is imposed to encourage banks to improve their financial health. The reiteration comes in the wake of rumours on social media that some of the banks that are under PCA could be closed down.

Motive behind the PCA: The PCA framework is intended to encourage banks to eschew certain riskier activities and focus on conserving capital so that their balance sheets can become stronger

What is Prompt Corrective Action?

To ensure that banks don’t go bust, RBI has put in place some trigger points to assess, monitor, control and take corrective actions on banks which are weak and troubled. The process or mechanism under which such actions are taken is known as Prompt Corrective Action, or PCA.

What’s  the need for PCA?

  • The 1980s and early 1990s were a period of great stress and turmoil for banks and financial in  stitutions all over the globe
  • In USA, more than 1,600 commercial and savings banks in sured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) were either closed or given financial assis tance during this period. The cumulative losses incurred by the failed institutions exceeded US $100 billion
  • These events led to the search for appropriate supervi sory strategies to avoid bank failures as they can have a destabilising effect on the economy

RCEP: India hardens stand ahead of ASEAN summit
Source: The Hindu

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has taken a strong stand that the country should restrain itself from concluding any such pact from which it would not gain in the medium term. The RCEP is a proposed mega-regional FTA involving the 10 member countries of ASEAN and its six FTA partners including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand

Report on ‘trade with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN):

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, in its report, has called for observance of due restraint and not conclude trade arrangements which are not to our medium term advantage
  • The report is significant coming ahead of the ASEAN-India commemorative summit to be held on January 25
  • At the summit the issue of the long-delayed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will likely take centre stage

 Reasons behind these concerns:

  • The India-ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement was inked and enforced from January 1, 2010
  • After that India’s goods trade deficit with ASEAN widened from $4.98 billion in 2010-11 to $14.75 billion in 2015-16, and then narrowed to $9.56 billion in 2016-17
  • The huge goods trade deficit has led to questions on whether the pact is only helping ASEAN nations and not benefiting India


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