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Competition Commission of India

Paper : Prelims Specific, General Studies 2

Why in news?

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) celebrated its 10th Annual Day on May 20 which marks the notification of the substantive enforcement provisions of the Competition Act, 2002.

What is the Competition Commission of India (CCI)?

  • It is a statutory body established under the Competition Act, 2002.
  • CCI consists of a Chairperson and 6 Members appointed by the Central Government.
  • It is the duty of the Commission to eliminate practices having adverse effect on competition, promote and sustain competition, protect the interests of consumers and ensure freedom of trade in the markets of India.
  • The Commission is also required to give opinion on competition issues on a reference received from a statutory authority established under any law and to undertake competition advocacy, create public awareness and impart training on competition issues.

 

IMCOR : India Myanmar Co-ordinated Patrol

Paper : Prelims Specific, General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • Myanmar Navy Ship UMS King TabinShweHtee (773) and UMS Inlay (OPV-54) have arrived Port Blair on 20 May for the ‘Opening Ceremony’ of the 8th Indo-Myanmar coordinated patrol (IMCOR), at Andaman and Nicobar Command.
  • Myanmar ships UMS King TabinShweHtee and UMS Inlay would undertake a coordinated patrol with Indian Naval Ship Saryu from 20 – 28 May 19. The patrolling effort will be augmented by Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both the navies.
  • The ships would patrol along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between the two countries covering a distance of approximately 725 Kms over a period of four days.
  • The ships will also undertake joint manoeuvres and drills during the sea phase of coordinated patrol (CORPAT) prior ‘Closing Ceremony’ of the CORPAT onboard Myanmar Naval Ship..

 

High Level Committee recommends strategy to reduce import dependency in Oil and Gas

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • The High-Level Committee (HLC) constituted by the Government of India to examine the issues relating to preparation of action plan to create synergy among R&D Centres of Oil & Gas PSUs; tax issues and ways to benefit from GST by the Oil & Gas PSUs submitted its report to the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • The HLC, consists of Dr. Anil Kakodkar, eminent Scientist and Shri Sidharth Pradhan, an expert on financial and tax issues
  • It also looked into merger, acquisition and consolidation of Oil & Gas PSUs and the Joint Ventures; explored the need and possibility of formation of new entity dealing with oil services and supply of qualified manpower to Oil & Gas sector around the world.

What is the situation of energy security in the country?

  • Energy security is a key strategic priority for India.During 2018, India consumed 204.92 MMT petroleum products and 58.64 BCM natural gas whereas the domestic production of crude oil and natural gas has almost stagnated.
  • The import dependency of crude oil and LNG during the year was 82.59% and 45.89% respectively which is likely to increase in days to come. During 2018, petroleum import (₹7028.37 billion) was 23.42% of total gross import (₹30010.2 billion) of the nation.
  • India’s projected oil demand is going to grow at CAGR 4% during 2016-2030 against the world average of 1% though the projected oil demand will be much lower as compared to the US and China.
  • India is thus at very precarious situation and to secure its energy needs in sustainable manner, out-of-box solutions are needed. R&D is going to play an important role in the process.

 

 

Haryana to discourage paddy crop

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • Haryana has decided to discourage paddy sowing in the state as the State was staring at a water crisis due to depleting ground water levels.
  • A pilot project will be launched in seven blocks of Yamunanagar, Ambala, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Jind and Sonipat districts where sowing of maize and tur pulses would be promoted by giving incentives to farmers.
  • The total saving of water is expected to be 0.71 crore cm.

What are the provisions of the scheme?

  • Identified farmers will be provided seeds free of cost
  • A financial assistance of Rs. 2,000 per acre will be provided in two parts.
  • The maize crop insurance premium of Rs. 766 per hectare will be borne by the government under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Maize produced will be procured by government agencies such as HAFED, Food and Supply department at Minimum Support Price.

 

West Nile fever cases in Kozhikode go unnoticed

Paper : General Studies 2

About West Nile fever

  • West Nile Virus (WNV) is a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae.
  • West Nile Virus (WNV) was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. It was identified in birds (crows and columbiformes) in Nile delta region in 1953. Before 1997 WNV was not considered pathogenic for birds, but at that time in Israel a more virulent strain caused the death of different bird species presenting signs of encephalitis and paralysis.
  • WN virus is maintained in nature in a mosquito-bird-mosquito transmission cycle. Mosquitoes of the genus Culex are generally considered the principal vectors of WNV, in particular Cx. Pipiens. WNV is maintained in mosquito populations through vertical transmission (adults to eggs).

 

How is it transmitted?

  • Human infection is most often the result of bites from infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, which circulate the virus in their blood for a few days. The virus eventually gets into the mosquito’s salivary glands. During later blood meals (when mosquitoes bite), the virus may be injected into humans and animals, where it can multiply and possibly cause illness.
  • The virus may also be transmitted through contact with other infected animals, their blood, or other tissues.
  • A very small proportion of human infections have occurred through organ transplant, blood transfusions and breast milk. There is one reported case of transplacental (mother-to-child) WNV transmission.
  • To date, no human-to-human transmission of WNV through casual contact has been documented.

 

What are its symptoms?

  • Infection with WNV is either asymptomatic (no symptoms) in around 80% of infected people, or can lead to West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease.
  • About 20% of people who become infected with WNV will develop West Nile fever. Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.
  • The symptoms of severe disease (also called neuroinvasive disease, such as West Nile encephalitis or meningitis or West Nile poliomyelitis) include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
  • Serious illness can occur in people of any age, however people over the age of 50 and some immunocompromised persons (for example, transplant patients) are at the highest risk for getting severely ill when infected with WNV.
  • The incubation period is usually 3 to 14 days.

 

 

UN lowers India’s FY20 GDP growth forecast

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • United Nations report – UN World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2019 lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.1% from its estimate of 7.5% in January citing overall slowdown in global growth.
  • It also said that there is a broad-based slowdown in the global economy due in large part to unresolved traded disputes between the US and China.

 

Reserve Bank of India to create a regulatory cadre

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

Reserve Bank of India has decided to create a specialised supervisory and regulatory cadre to strengthen the supervision and regulation of commercial banks, urban cooperative banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs)

 

About the Reserve Bank of India

Reserve Bank of India is India’s central bank and was founded in 1935 pursuant to the enactment of the RBI Act, 1934.

The main functions of the RBI include:

  • Monetary authority: formulates, implements, and monitors India’s monetary policy. The main objectives of which are maintaining price stability, ensuring adequate flow of credit to productive sectors, and financial stability.
  • Issuer of currency: issues currency and coins (except Re 1 note), and exchanges or destroys currency notes and coins unfit for circulation
  • Banker and debt manager to Government of India: performs merchant banking functions for central and state governments and also acts as their banker, determines how best to raise money in debt markets to help the government finance its requirements
  • Banker to banks: enables clearing and settlement of inter-bank transactions, maintains banks’ accounts for statutory reserve requirements, and acts as a lender of last resort
  • Regulator and supervisor of the financial system: protects the interests of depositors, facilitates orderly development and conduct of banking operations, and maintains financial stability through preventive and corrective measures
  • Manager of foreign exchange: regulates transactions related to the external sector, enables the development of the foreign exchange market (forex), ensures smooth functioning of the domestic forex market, and manages India’s foreign currency assets and gold reserves
  • Regulator and supervisor of payment and settlement systems
  • Maintaining financial stability: an explicit objective of the RBI since the early 2000s
  • Development: ensures credit availability to productive economic sectors, establishes institutions to develop India’s financial infrastructure, expands access to affordable financial services, and promotes financial education and literacy