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The Gist of Kurukshetra: November 2014


The Gist of Kurukshetra: November 2014


Budget 2014-15 is there a shift in policy direction?

The Union Budget 2014-15 was presented amidst a high expectation-ridden environment where the people of India anticipated the government’s maiden budget announcements to be statements of its policy directions, vision and the principles of economic management for the next few years. While the Economic Survey 2013-14 released a day before the Budget day advocated instant management of inflation, revival of economic growth, fiscal management and stability in the regulatory and policy framework for creating enablers in the so called sluggish economic environment, the immediate challenge before the government was the impending drought like situations in Indian States due to deficient monsoon 2014-15.

Wage Guarantee and Self-employment

The Budget 2014-15 (hereinafter the Budget) has reposed faith in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) - the existing wage and self-employment programmes, respectively. While under NRLM, the expansion of interest subvention (i.e. 4% rate of interest on SHG loan upon prompt repayment) to an additional 100 districts would be beneficial to the diligent and disciplined rural SHGs, implementation of a start-up village entrepreneurship programme would create a catalytic local entrepreneurial ecosystem and would encourage the rural unemployed youth to take up local enterprises. On successful and sustained implementation, these initiatives would not only help in identifying and impartingtraining to prospective youth entrepreneurs, but would also provide support in guiding, facilitating and enabling these budding rural entrepreneurs to network with the businesspersons around the world.

MGNREGA has often been criticised for generating assets of inferior quality. In the recent past, the quality and durability of assets under MGNREGA have been compromised due to less focus on asset creation, faulty work design, improper selection of projects and work sites, lack of survey of works, inaccurate work design estimates, inefficient work execution and inadequate supervision. Keeping this in view, the Budget has aimed at creating more productive, durable and quality assets under this wage-employment initiative and. at linking these works to agriculture and allied activities. To realise this policy direction of the Budget, not only is there a need to design and implement policy directives on convergence at the district/block/village level with the all-round co-operation of the district/Block level sectoral line departments, but also a need to frame standardised quality parameters for public works permissible under MGNREGA. Further, the need of the hour is to raise a cadre of quality monitors both at the National and State levels to guide and supervise the quality, usability and durability of the assets so created under this public works programme.

Rurban Push

The Budget witnessed a Rural-Urban (Rurban) push following Rurban development model of urbanisation of rural Gujarat. This initiative will not only create an enabling and productiveenvironment and a fervent platform for attaining a balanced growth with social equity in rural areas, but would also ensure implementation of efficient and integrated civic infrastructure and basic amenity projects in rural areas on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The basic and associate services in the rural areas call for convergence of financial resources with technical inputs so as to create a vibrant, productive and quality rural infrastructure base.
The real challenge in translating the dream of Rurban development is to learn from the factors causing sluggish progress in the implementation of PURA and to take timely and adequate action to remove all the operational roadblocks to ensure quality of life of the rural people.

100 Smart Cities

The intent of the Government in announcing the development of 100 smart cities as satellite towns of large cities or by modernising the existing mid-sized cities is to ensure better living standards and to address the age-old complex problems of rural-urban migration and rapid urbanisation. With an allocation of Rs. 7,600 cr. in 2014-15, it is expected that the new smart cities so created would be able to provide adequate livelihood options to millions of rural-urban migrants and accommodate the civic needs of burgeoning number of people.

(Current Affairs) Economy & Energy | October + November: 2014

Economy

Tata Value ties up with Snapdeal

  • Online marketplace Snapdeal and Tata Value Homes, a subsidiary of Tata Housing with focus on affordable housing , announced partnership to enable users to buy houses online.
  • As part of the partnership, about 1,000 homes across projects in cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Chennai will be put up for sale on Snapdeal. These houses are priced between Rs.18 lakh and Rs.70 lakh and range from 1 BHK to 3 BHK.

  • Tata Value Homes will continue to sell through its own portal as well.

  • Upon possession of the house, customers buying the house through Snapdeal will get Rs.10,000 a month for a year as an assured rent (whether they stay on premise or lease it out) as part of the deal.

Centre to unveil home loan Scheme for Transgenders

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation ECONOMY (HUPA) has proposed rolling out a loan assistance scheme that will for the first time help transgenders and economically weaker sections to secure home loans in urban areas.

  • The Ministry has tweaked the existing Rajiv RinnYojna (RRY), which was launched as an instrument to aid the EWS (economically weaker sections) and LIG (lower income group) segments in urban areas, through enhanced credit flow and replaced it with a new scheme that will make it easier for the economically weaker sections and minority groups to own homes.

  • The RRY launched by the UPA government with much fanfare failed to take off and funds earmarked for it lapsed.

  • The Ministry has now not only given it a new name — HOMES (Home Owners Mortgage Equity Subvention Scheme) but has also made it more attractive by enhancing the loan amount and increasing the interest subsidy from 5 per cent to 5.5 per cent on loans granted to construct houses or extend the existing ones.

(Current Affairs) India and The World | October + November: 2014

India & The World

Great expectations from Modi s Japan trip

  • India has “great expectations” from Prime Minister NarendraModi’s five-day visit to Japa, his first bilateral trip outside the subcontinent.

  • Underlining the importance of INDIA & THE WORLD the East Asian region, Mr. Modi’s visit to Japan will be followed by a Vietnam trip by President Pranab Mukherjee in September.

  • External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj just concluded a visit to Vietnam.

  • Top business leaders, including Mukesh Ambani, GautamAdani and Kumar Mangalam Birla, will travel separately to Japan in visits timed to coincide with high-level business interactions Mr. Modi will initiate with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe.

India, Pakistan hold third flag meeting

  • Officers of the Border Security Force and the Desert Rangers of Pakistan held their third flag meeting along the international border that has witnessed relentless ceasefire violations in the past month and a half.
  • While the BSF complained about regular ceasefire violations, the Pakistani Rangers denied the charge and drew attention to the loss of life and property in BSF shelling.
  • Committed to working with Modi government, says Singapore PM
  • Singapore Prime Minister Lee HsienLoong re-affirmed his commitment to working with newly elected leaders in India and Indonesia.
  • “There are new leaders in Indonesia and India. How their countries fare will affect the entire region. I look forward to working with them,” said Mr. Lee referring to Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi and Indonesian President JokoWidodo in his annual National Rally speech.
  • Highlighting Singapore’s concern about global uncertainties, Mr. Lee said: “The world is in flux. Conflicts far away could affect us.”

The Gist of Yojana: November 2014


The Gist of Yojana: November 2014


Marginal Realignment Of Tactics to Strategy

Macroeconomic Determinants of Growth

At the macroeconomic level, there is stimulus for different types of investment and for household saving all of which raise growth. Column I in Table I gives the percentage difference between the Budget Estimates (BE) of the present budget and those in the interim budget indicating a restructuring away from budget of the previous government. Column 2, with the increase in the 2014-15 July BE over 2013-14 Revised Estimates (RE), gives the expected increase in expenditure that will impact the economy. Column 3 has the similar promises made in the interim budget. Column 4 is an indicator of the feasibility of the promises since it gives actual past performance-the change in 2013-14 RE over actuals of 20 12-13.

Apart from the marginal turnaround in public investment, there are many measures to reverse the fall in private investment and increase its productivity. This is essential to reverse the slowdown in manufacturing. These include temporary tax credits for investment, with eligibility for the investment allowance extended to an investment of Rs. 25 crores, from the earlier threshold of Rs. 100 crores.

An IT enabled e-BIZ single window is to coordinate Central Government services for industry, many industrial corridors and clusters are to be developed.

Promoting Foreign Direct Investment in strategic sectors such as defence production and insurance will also directly increase investment, domestic jobs, technology, and financing. FDI limits have been raised from 26 to 49 percent so that management and control remain with India. Other concessions have been given with respect to built up area and capital conditions, especially for low cost housing and for smart cities.

Concrete action to reduce food inflation is limited to a promised sale of food stocks. But the budget does recognise the importance of working closely with States to modify the APMC acts and promises other steps to improve agricultural marketing including improving warehousing and restructuring the Food Corporation of India. Interventions in agriculture are correctly focused on improving infrastructure-irrigation, watershed development, feeder separation in power, roads and housing.

Last year fire-fighting reduced the current account deficit and strengthened ‘the rupee, but increasing domestic financial savings and deepening domestic markets are important among longer term measures to maintain a sustainable balance of payments. While taking steps to that deepen domestic financial markets, it is good that the finance minister has not further liberalized foreign debt flows.

Two factors limit the increase in public investment. First, it takes time to ramp up the system to spend effectively, particularly if the direction of spending has to be changed. Second, the funds constraint prevents a rise in public investment unless there is a fall in other government expenditures. The budget’s attempts to change the composition of government expenditure towards investment remain marginal because there is not much economizing on revenue expenditure, there are some tax concessions, and the fiscal deficit target is maintained.

The commitment to long-run fiscal consolidation, however, is very much a positive, especially in the Indian context where we are just recovering from extreme external fragility induced by government overspending. But sticking to the letter of the short-run may lose an opportunity to improve the composition. Quality and sincerity of fiscal consolidation matters more. Supply-side factors largely drive inflation but we have among the highest rates of youth unemployment in the world and need to act vigorously, just as many Western countries are doing to kick start growth.

The second issue is to limit transfers to capacity. Re-designing transfers so they build capacity would achieve this, even as they increase equality of opportunity. A stable government, at the beginning of its term, has more freedom to act quickly towards shifting from populism towards productivity. A reluctance to risk a departure from the status-quo would be a dangerous misreading of the election mandate.

Active Inclusion

The ‘virtual’ middle class has exploded as social .media raised awareness. Rural peri-urban migration has created a large neo middle class, and the country’s demographic profile has increased the share of youth. All these sections gain more from a good working environment as compared to doles. Even the lower income classes stand to gain as a richer set of jobs become available.

Improving Systemic Incentives

Faster decision making requires systems that enable this. Obsolete administrative structures lead to delays. This became clear in 2009, when the share of non-performing bank loans rose as infrastructure projects were delayed. The latter predated the big corruption scandals starting with the CAG report and Common wealth games that blew up in 20 I O. So, while corruption and the fear of CBI enquiries do create delays, they are not the major cause of government paralysis. But this issue is not addressed in the budget.

(Current Affairs) International Events | October + November: 2014

International Events

WHO declares Ebola an International Health Emergency

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.

  • The WHO announced the Ebola outbreak the largest and longest in history is worrying enough to merit being declared an international health emergency. WHO declared similar emergencies for the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and for polio in May.

  • Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own, The current outbreak of Ebola began in Guinea in March and has since spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia

U.S. is coming to Help: Obama

  • U.S. authorised a two-pronged military intervention in Iraq, aimed both at protecting American personnel and assets located in the conflict zones, and also at staving off “a potential act of genocide,” in the Sinjar area where nearly 50,000 members of the Yazidi minority community were trapped atop a mountain besieged by IS fighters.

  • Mr. Obama said Washington had begun conducting humanitarian airdrops at the request of the Iraqi government.

  • Ahead of the airstrikes, the first direct military action by the U.S. in Iraq since troops pulled out in 2011, which were authorised by the U.S. Central Command commander, the U.S. also used one C-17 and two C-130 aircrafts to airdrop 5,300 gallons of fresh drinking water and 8,000 ready-to-eat meals near Mount Sinjar.

  • Iraqis welcomed the U.S. airlift of emergency aid to thousands of people who fled to the mountains to escape Islamic extremists and called for greater intervention. In contrast to Washington’s decision to invade Iraq more than a decade ago, both the airdrop and the authorisation of military action against the Islamic State group were widely welcomed by Iraqi and Kurdish officials fearful of the militants’ lightning advance across the country.

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the decision taken by the United States to authorise “targeted strikes” against the Islamic militant forces in Iraq. The U.K. chaired a meeting in the United Nations Security Council on Thursday seeking a strong international response to the crisis in Iraq.

(Current Affairs) National Events | October + November: 2014

National Events

Govt. to consider UPSC exam in all 8th Schedule Languages

  • The Centre on Thursday said there was “force” in the argument that the Civil Services Examination should be conducted in all languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and assured the Lok Sabha that this demand would be considered.

  • At present, while question papers are set in English and Hindi and the main examination can be attempted in any language in the Eighth Schedule, the preliminary examination are available only in English and Hindi.

  • As protests continued within and outside Parliament over the Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT), the government reiterated that the preliminary examination would be held as scheduled on August 24.

  • The Union Public Service Commission is yet to clear the air on whether it has accepted the government’s view that the English comprehension skill component of CSAT — paper II of the prelims — should not be counted for merit or gradation, and how this will be implemented.

E-rickshaws Finally get the Legal Stamp

  • The Delhi High Court on Friday advised the Delhi Government to organise camps for registration of e-rickshaws to protect the operators from further loss of earnings.
  • However, it refused to lift the ban on them plying on the Capital’s roads till the drivers have licences, registration certificates and insurance papers in their possession.
  • Filing the draft guidelines to regulate the battery-operated rickshaws, the Centre sought two months to finalise and notify them and urged the Court to let the vehicles ply during the this period. But the Court declined.

Gist of The Hindu: November 2014


Gist of The Hindu: November 2014


Battle Lines Sharpen over GM

Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, was petitioned by farmers and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch to halt trials of transgenic crops approved by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) on July 18 and there is some confusion if the government has actually taken such a decision. The GEAC decision has come even before the Supreme Court decides on a writ petition filed by Aruna Rodrigues in 2005, demanding a moratorium on genetically modified (GM) crops. A court hearing on July 15 did not take place but three days later, the GEAC cleared field trials for some GM crops.

The Centre had filed a response to the report of the Technical Expert Committee (TEC) in April 2014; the apex court is yet to adjudicate on it. The GEAC was quick to point out that the Supreme Court had not imposed a ban on confined field trials. But the comprehensive Parliamentary Standing Committee report on agriculture in 2012 had taken a clear stand against field trials.

The TEC called for strengthening the existing regulatory system before granting permission for conducting more field trials. In the absence of a ruling from the Supreme Court, the GEAC steamed ahead with what it thought fit, even as some States were against GM field trials. It clearly went against the opinion of the TEC and parliamentary committee reports and also a letter endorsed by over 250 scientists against field trials of GM crops. Research is important, said a GEAC official, even as he maintained that a blanket ban is unacceptable. The GEAC, it seems, could not wait for the Supreme Court’s decision.

It is this very regulatory process that has come into question in the past by the parliamentary committee and the TEC, which was constituted by the apex court in 2012 to advise it on issues related to GM crops field trials and bio-safety assessment. After the TEC submitted an interim report in October 2012, the Centre said it was scientifically flawed and did not address the terms of reference and merits outright rejection since it has exceeded its mandate. Later, the apex court appointed Dr. Rajendra Singh Paroda as a member who submitted a separate dissenting report when the five other TEC members submitted theirs in July 2013.
The Centre’s affidavit trashed the TEC report on several counts and accepted Dr. Paroda’s report which it felt had addressed all the terms of reference. It defended the present regulatory system in the country saying it was adequate and robust and the government was committed to strengthening it while praying for this writ to be dismissed.

The Centre was also perturbed by TEC’s suggestion that there should be a moratorium on trial for crops which originated in India. The TEC had also recommended a moratorium on field trials of herbicide-tolerant crops until the issue had been examined by an independent committee. The government said such recommendations were beyond the mandate of the TEC and based on scientifically flawed reports..

The GEAC, by granting approval to GM trials even before the Supreme Court ruled in the matter, has shown an undue haste which has marked the history of transgenic crop approvals in India. In a way, it has disregarded the committee of experts appointed by the government itself after the Court’s order. There are grave concerns about a loss of biodiversity — something that has happened already in the case of cotton and some other crops — and bio-safety regulations.

India is a signatory to international conventions on both subjects. It is imperative to proceed with caution on the issue of GM crops, move away from conflict of interest situations and take an impartial and rigorous scientific view which should benefit humanity at large and not just powerful corporations.

The Humble Brinjal’s Bt Moment?

Moratorium on Introduction

The moratorium had been imposed because of four crucial reasons. First, no State government cutting across party lines and ideologies supported the commercialisation. Second, there appeared to be no overwhelming consensus on it in the domestic and international scientific community. Third, there were concerns that seed supply would be the monopoly — direct and indirect — of one multinational company. Fourth, there appeared to be a persuasive case for more tests and trials under an agreed protocol and under an independent regulatory agency that would inspire wider confidence.

Selected Articles from Various News Paper: Civil Services Mentor Magazine October + November 2014

SELECTED ARTICLES FROM VARIOUS NEWSPAPERS & JOURNALS

(October + November 2014)

Of fact, Procedure, and Principle

The practice followed by the collegium of the higher courts, before a candidate is recommended for elevation and a panel of names is sent to the government for appointment, is as follows. The Chief Justice initiates a consultation with the legal fraternity. Speaking in confidence to senior advocates and fellow judges, to both the bar and the bench, a long list of possible candidates for elevation is prepared. Based on these recommendations the Chief Justice then invites the candidates to determine their willingness to be considered. If the candidates are willing then they are required to furnish details about themselves, such as their contributions to the law especially with respect to important cases, the extent of their legal practice, their annual income, their legal history, etc. These details are then processed by the court administration, during which time, I suppose, the court gets inputs from relevant investigating agencies about whether they have any legal proceedings against the candidate, etc. other inputs that may make them ineligible for consideration.

Based on (i) the recommendations of the legal fraternity, (ii) the willingness of the candidate, and (iii) the hard data relating to the legal practice and public standing of the individual, the file is placed before the collegium.
The collegium then scrutinises the information on record and, based on the highest standards of judicial scrutiny, arrives at a decision on whom to recommend and whom to ignore, from the names before it. Not every name that comes up through this process gets the approval of the collegium. The shortlist prepared by the collegium is then sent up to the government for its approval. This I am told is the standard process that is followed. Gopal Subramanium’s case, I suppose, went through the same process.

The principle for such empanelment was enunciated by the Supreme Court in the case of P.J. Thomas, nominee for the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), whose candidature was rejected in 2011 when it described in detail the process to be followed in the appointment to a position of authority. Appointments to the Supreme Court, I expect, fall into this category. Here is what the judgment said — (vi) The empanelling authority, while forwarding the names of the empanelled officers/persons, shall enclose complete information, material and data of the concerned officer/person, whether favourable or adverse. Nothing relevant or material should be withheld from the Selection Committee. It will not only be useful but would also serve larger public interest and enhance public confidence if the contemporaneous service record and acts of outstanding performance of the
officer under consideration, even with adverse remarks is specifically brought to the notice of the Selection Committee. (vii) The Selection Committee may adopt a fair and transparent process of consideration of the empanelled officers.

Assuming complete information was available to the collegium, we now have to consider the contrasting positions of the collegium and the government. Based on the same facts considered by the collegium, the
government is at liberty to give an alternative reading and argue for the unsuitability of a particular candidate. This is legitimate since the political lens of the government may be at variance with that of the collegium. The disagreement, at this stage, has to be on political grounds and not on facts. The procedure then requires the government to place its disagreement before the collegium which can either restate its earlier recommendation or revise it in the light of the arguments made. This second stage is constitutionally sacrosanct since contained in it is the core principle of the separation of powers. The collegium has to deliberate on this contrary opinion of the government and decide whether, by accepting or rejecting it, the independence of the judiciary is eroded or enhanced. Both parties must give clear reasons for their positions so that the final decision taken can educate the
public on the core issue of separation of powers. The government’s reasons and the collegium’s views, as well as the facts of the matter, should be made public to serve, as the Supreme Court in the P.J. Thomas case said,
the larger public interest.

Three basic issues for our democracy emerge from this controversy. The first is the issue of public attitude. Are we prepared to let it lie, to blow over because another headline has grabbed its place or are we prepared to interrogate it further? This is not a partisan issue, of UPA versus NDA, since it perhaps points to a growing disregard for our constitutional culture. When the confidentiality of the collegium’s recommendation is treated lightly, when the intelligence reports are leaked, when the President’s confidential actions are public knowledge, we have reason to be concerned about the disregard for constitutional propriety. Will those who leaked information be punished to restore the sanctity of the process? Or are we moving toward what Paulo Friere calls the “culture of silence”?

The second issue concerns the doctrine of separation of powers. By segregating the names, did the President give primacy to the executive over the judiciary? Was this a question of political expediency trumping constitutional principles? With whom should the final decision, on who should be elevated, lie? The executive or the judicial fraternity? Since the Emergency, when it had touched its nadir, our democracy has been struggling to restore the balance between the executive and judiciary.

We hope that the moment has not passed for the collegium to enunciate on the principle of finality. Mr. Subramanium’s withdrawal also highlights one of the knottiest problems of political philosophy. Should he have been pragmatic, and withdrawn to fight another battle, or principled, since a foundational principle was at stake? Is the cost of standing up for the principle too high, undermining other values that are also important, or is it necessary to stand up for them regardless of the cost since it would take society to new and higher morality?

Laying out Space Goals

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its twenty-sixth consecutive successful flight and the fourth wholly commercial launch, put the French earth observation satellite, SPOT-7, as well as four tiny satellites from Germany, Canada and Singapore, into orbit with characteristic élan. On hand at Sriharikota to witness the launch was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In a forceful speech immediately afterwards, the Prime Minister lauded the space programme and held it up as an example of what the country could achieve, observing that “our space scientists have made us global leaders in one of the most complex areas of modern technology.” India must, he said, share “the fruits of our technological advancement with those who do not enjoy the same.” He called for the development of a “SAARC [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation] satellite” that would provide useful applications and services to neighbouring countries. China, it should be noted, already uses its space capabilities for soft-power diplomacy, one example being an agreement with Brazil to jointly build earth observation satellites. Mr. Modi clearly intends to deploy India’s space technology as part of the country’s diplomatic outreach. However, before turning the prime ministerial suggestion into hardware, ISRO would do well to get inputs from the other South Asian nations about their pressing needs that could be effectively addressed with space technology.

Essential Commodities Act.: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - October + November - 2014


ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES ACT


The Essential Commodities Act was enacted by the Central Government in 1955. Main purpose of the act was to control the price and trade for commodities which are essential for public at large. This act gives the power to governments at the center and state to control the price, supply, production, trade etc. when the chance of price rise is present. Various measures are provided to the governments in order to effectively discharge the functioned assigned in the act. Government can impose stock limit, can issue license and distribute the commodity. Government can also impose penalties in case of stock keeping of essential commodity.

Commodities which are covered under the act are provided in the essential commodities act, 1955 and new commodities are added to it through various amendments. Original text of the Act says; “essential commodity” means any of the following Classes of commodities:

Marrakesh Treaty: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - October + November - 2014


MARRAKESH TREATY


Literary work requires lot of effort and creativity, writers spend lot of energy and resources to reach desired product. Copyrights are issued in order to encourage this creative work and they provide the mechanism to pass the benefits to the owner.

However, intellectual property rights are also generally seen as an infringement on the basic human rights of the people. Debate has been long present on how to build a correct balance between the economic benefits of owner and rights of customer. Some consider IPR as an mechanism which is discriminatory and it does not encourage the full participation of population. Marrakesh treaty was signed in this regard to allow the persons with
visual impairments or with print disability to get the benefits of development in technology.

This treaty proclaims the “principles of non-discrimination, equal opportunity, accessibility and full and effective participation and inclusion in society, proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”.

BRICS Summit: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - October + November - 2014


BRICS SUMMIT


The acronym “BRICs” was initially quoted by Goldman Sachs. It was first coined in a report on growth prospects of Brazil, Russia, India and China. According to the report these four countries have a great growth prospects and they can become a major stakeholders in the world economy in the 21st century. Successful interaction at the margins of the General Debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)in 2006 by four BRIC countries led the decision that the dialogue was to be carried out at the level of Heads of State and Government in annual Summits. First Summit was held in Yekaterinburg in 2009, in 2011 BRIC formally became BRICS with the induction of South Africa. Now BRICS has surpassed the reason for which it was initiated. Initially it was only in economic sphere now has BRICS has become a promising political-diplomatic entity. Till now total of six annual summits have been held by BRICS. After the Yekaterinburg Summit, other Summits were held at, Brasilia; Sanya; New Delhi; Durban; and Fortaleza respectively. Durban summit in 2013 lead to the conclusion of first cycle of summits. First cycle has seen BRICS has come a long way, now it has become a forum for geopolitical, economic, scientific and cultural exchange. Initiatives towards reforming the international
institutions for better representation of BRICS has long been an agenda. Along with that trade ministers also meet annually to expand cooperation on economic and trade issues within the BRICS. Along with that BRICS also has health and science and technology forum. In these forums ministers of health and science and technology of BRICS nations meet and discuss the existing challenges.

SIXTH BRICS SUMMIT

Sixth brics summit was hosted by Brazil, in the city Fortaleza. This completes one cycle of full BRICS countries. Although Brazil hosted a BRIC conference in 2010 but that was without South Africa. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner was a special guest of the summit. Various issues and developments were discussed in the summit and four important agreements were signed, they are given below;

1. Treaty for The Establishment of a BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement
2. Agreement on the New Development Bank
3. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation among BRICS Export Credit Insurance Agencies
4. Cooperation Agreement on Innovation

BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (“CRA”) is between the BRICS nations. The Parties agree to establish a self-managed contingent reserve arrangement to look into any actual or potential balance of payment issue; this will also provide a mutual support and increase the financial stability of the countries. This Contingent reserve arrangement will also help in stablise global financial situation and it will complement the existing institutions like IMF.

Reinterpretation of Japanese Constitution: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - October + November - 2014


REINTERPRETATION OF JAPANESE CONSTITUTION


With narrow land space and poor natural resources, Japan heavily depends on the international environment for its survival. It has no other choice than to make persistent endeavors toward international harmony in order to ensure its existence. Moreover, against the background of growing interdependence among nations today, Japan is strengthening its ties with the international community in every aspect of human life. As Japan’s economic strength grows, its position in the international community has been strengthened accordingly. This owes much to the wisdom and efforts of the Japanese people.

Universal Immunization Programme: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - October + November - 2014


UNIVERSAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAMME


Indian public health has seen a massive improvement since independence. At the time of independence Life expectancy was only 32 years and we had a very high child and infant mortality rate. Various programs and initiatives from the government and non-government organizations have led to this development. Universal immunization program is one such program which has helped in reduction of spread of disease covered under it. India started with the expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) in 1978 to reduce child mortality. Under this program six vaccines were covered (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), TT, DPT, DT, polio, and typhoid). Subsequently, in 1985 the Indian government included Measles vaccination and launched the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) and a mission to achieve immunization coverage of all infants and pregnant women by 1990’s. It is one of the largest immunization program in the world in terms of quantities of vaccine used, the number of beneficiaries, the geographical spread. It was launched in 1985 in a phased manner. Under this program government gives vaccine to children for seven diseases. Diseases covered under this program are;

1. Polio;
2. Hepatitis B;
3. Childhood TB;
4. Tetanus;
5. Measles;
6. Diphtheria;
7. Pertussis;

(Download) Civil Services Mentor Magazine, October + November 2014

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Issue : October + November 2014
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Table of Contents:

Articles:

  • Universal Immunization Programme
  • Reinterpretation of Japanese Constitution
  • BRICS Summit
  • Marrakesh Treaty
  • Essential Commodities Act
  • Selected Articles from Various Newspapers & Journals
  • SOLVED PAPER General Studies UPSC MAIN 2012 Paper – I
  • CSAT PAPER-II Model Paper For IAS Preliminary Examination–2015
  • GENERAL STUDIES PAPER-I Model Paper For IAS Preliminary Examination–2015
  • Study Material on Sangam Age for Preliminary Examination 2015

Current Affairs:

  • National Issues
  • International Issues
  • Economy
  • India & The World
  • Science & Technology
  • Sports
  • Awards & Prizes
  • Persons in News

Govt. mulls reducing age limit to IAS Exams from 2015


Govt. mulls reducing age limit to IAS Exams from 2015


In a move that could affect thousands of civil service aspirants across the country, the Centre intends to reduce the upper age limit and number of attempts of applicants with effect from 2015. Going by the new norm, the upper age limit will be 29 years for SC/ST candidates, 28 years for OBC and 26 for the unreserved category. There will be an additional two years for physically challenged candidates in each category.

At present, the upper age limit for SC/ST, OBC and unreserved candidates is 35, 33 and 30 years respectively.

(Free E-book) Weekly Current Affairs Update for IAS Exam VOL - 23 (5th May 2014 TO 11th May 2014)


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(Admit Card) Chhattisgarh PCS: State Service (Mains) Examination - 2013

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Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission

Download State Service (Mains) Examination-2013 Admit Card

Exam Name: State Service (Mains) Examination

Year: 2013

State: Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission

(e-Admit Card) UPSC: Indian Forest Services (Main) Exam., 2014

UPSC

Union Public Service Commission

e-Admit Card : Indian Forest Services (Main) Exam., 2014

Exam Name: Indian Forest Services (Main) Exam.

Year: 2014

(Notification) UPSC: Combined Defence Services Examination (I) (CDS)  - 2015

UPSC

Combined Defence Services Examination (I) (CDS)  - 2015

No. 8/3/2014-E.I(B)- A Combined Defence Services Examination will be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission on 15th February, 2015 for admission to the undermentioned courses:-

Vacancies Details:

Educational Qualification:

Physical Standard:

(Written Result) UPSC: CAPF (AC) Examination, 2014

UPSC

Union Public Service Commission

Written Result : CAPF (AC) Examination, 2014

On the basis of the results of the written part of the CAPF (ACs) Examination, 2014 held by UPSC on 13th July, 2014, the candidates with the under-mentioned Roll Numbers have qualified for Physical Standards Test/
Physical Efficiency Test and Medical Standards Test. The candidature of all the candidates whose Roll Numbers are shown in the list is Provisional, subject  to their being found eligible in all respects. The candidates will be required to produce the original certificates in support of their claims pertaining to age, educational qualification(s), community etc. at the time of the Personality Test. They are, therefore, advised to keep the said prescribed certificates ready.

2. The Central Industrial Security Force (Nodal Authority nominated by Ministry of Home Affairs) will intimate to the candidates about the date, time & venue of the Physical Standards Test/ Physical Efficiency Test (PET) & Medical Standards Test, to be conducted by them. In case, any candidate does not receive the call letter for Physical Standards Test/ Physical Efficiency Test (PET) & Medical Standards Test (MST) by the 20th November, 2014, he/she may contact the Central Industrial Security Force on Telephone No. 011–24307747 or FAX No. 011-24361202

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