2018-CGS-11: March 16-31, 2018

Part-A: Glossary of Important Terms in News – 2016-2018: Part-I of IV

1. Aadhaar Seeding

Aadhaar seeding is a procedure by which the Unique Identifications issued by the UIDAI are included in the database of service providers so that they can used the Aadhaar identity for authentication during service delivery. Some of the examples include linking with the MGNREGA scheme or the insurance carriers.

Here two methods of seeding are being used:

  • Inorganic seeding- Under this mechanism, a digitalized database of beneficiaries is maintained. This data is collected from the KYR+ data issued by the enrollment agencies like employment exchanges. Then a comparison is made with this KYR+ data and the Aadhaar name. After this, the EID database is linked to the UID database.
  • Organic seeding-This is a direct method by which the department officials interact with the beneficiaries to collect their details of UID. These include the camps, door to door campaigns, fair price shops etc.

At present, the Public Distribution System is suffering from high inefficiency as the benefits never trickle down to the needy. This is either due to lack of information or due to corruption and red tapism. These problems can be solved to a great extent by this mechanism. It will help the government to maintain an updated database where:

  • Names of dead or non-existent beneficiaries will be removed.
  • The beneficiaries who claim benefits more than once can be eliminated.
  • False beneficiaries using others names cannot get the benefit.

2. Affordable Housing Fund

In line with the government’s aim to provide housing for all by 2022, Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) under National Housing Bank was announced in Union budget.

  • Towards this purpose, the National Housing Bank Act is to be amended to transfer its equity from RBI to government.
  • The AHF will be funded from priority sector lending shortfall and fully serviced bonds authorised by Central Government.

In the previous budget, the government had announced infrastructure status to affordable housing.

3. Animal Welfare Board

The government had shifted the headquarters of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) from Chennai to Haryana’s Ballabhgarh for “better coordination” between the environment ministry and the board.

Animal welfare board was established in 1961  under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960. It serves as a statutory advisory body under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The foremost function of AWBI is to advice to the union government on matters relating to the promotion of animal welfare and animal welfare laws

Kindly note that Rukmini Devi Arundale had played an important role in establishing Animal Welfare Board. Rukmini Devi Arundale was the first ever woman in Indian history to be nominated as the Rajya Sabha member.

4. Arctic Council

The Arctic Council was established in 1956 as a high-level intergovernmental forum which addresses issues faced by the Arctic governments and people living in the Arctic region. Currently Arctic Council has 8 Member states and 13 Observer states.

8 Member states: Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States

Note:

The Arctic Ocean has an area of over 12 million square kilometres, in which coastal and other countries share maritime rights and interests according to international law.

5. ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit

ASEAN-INDIA COMMEMORATIVE SUMMIT was held in New Delhi to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of sectoral dialogue between two sides with the Theme: Shared Values, Common Destiny.  Delhi Declaration was issued after the plenary session of the summit. In Delhi declaration for the first time there was explicit mention of close cooperation to handle “cross-border movement of terrorists.  Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a political and economic organization of ten Southeast Asian countries established in 1967. 2018 ASEAN Summit will be held in Singapore. “ASEAN Plus Three” includes China, Japan, and South Korea.

6. ASH TRACK APP

Union Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy launched ASH TRACK Mobile App for better management of fly ash produced by thermal power plants. It provides a platform better management of the ash produced by thermal power plants by providing an interface between fly ash producers (Thermal Power Plants) and potential ash users such as – road contractors, cement plants etc. The APP would manage200 million tonnes of fly ash by tracking coal based power plants situated within 100 km and 300 km from given location and availability of fly ash, along with prospective users within the same radius.

7. Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) Project

Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is an economic cooperation agreement between the government of India and Japan launched in May 2017 with a view to building projects in health and pharmaceuticals, agriculture and agro-processing, disaster management and skill development along with enhancing research and development capacities in Africa. It was started with an inherent aim to discover the sea routes and creating new corridors in the sea to link African nations with India and countries of South Asia and South East Asia. Indian contribution will be focused on modernising its own sea-ports falling under Sagarmala Project and development of sea ports in Africa while Japan will chip in its state of the art technology and infrastructural capabilities. The detailed plan for the same has been laid out by Research and Information System for Developing Countries RIS) New Delhi, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Jakarta, and Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO) of Tokyo. The project is spread over 4 main peripherals:

  1. Development and cooperation projects
  2. Quality infrastructure and institutional connectivity
  3. Capacity and skill enhancement
  4. People to people partnerships
Strategic significance:
  • It provides an access to huge resources of minerals of Africa both for India and Japan.
  • It is a robust plan to counter the OBOR initiative of China after its refusal to join the latter due to sovereignty concerns.
  • The African nations on east coast fall in the Indian maritime strategic neighbourhood and thus have huge potential for development of India’s international trade.
  • It is an effort in the right direction to counter the Chinese stronghold in the continent.

It involves a sizeable contribution from the private sectors of India, Japan and Africa as against China’s OBOR which is purely government funded. This gives it an edge over the latter as more capital inflows from the private sector will see better and robust facilities.

8. Assumption Island

Assumption Island is a small island in the Seychelles. This island is very close to the Mozambique Channel where much of the international trade is transiting. Its location lends it strategic importance for monitoring shipping in the Mozambique Channel.

The Indian government plan to set up and develop its first overseas military base at Assumption Island in the Seychelles. The deal to build a military base was struck in principle in 2015 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Seychelles

India plans to invest $550 million dollars in building the base to help it ensure the safety of its vessels in the southern Indian Ocean.

9. Atal Bhoojal Yojana

Atal Bhoojal Yojana is a water conservation scheme announced with the objective to tackle the crisis of depleting groundwater level.  The scheme will be launched with an estimated cost of Rs. 6000 Crore; and half of the funding for the scheme will get from World Bank. The scheme will be implemented by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation

Objectives:
  • To Recharge ground water and create sufficient water storage for agricultural purposes.
  • To revive surface water bodies so that ground water level can be increased, especially in the rural areas.
  • Sustainable groundwater management with emphasis on demand side interventions with community participation.

10. Australia Group

Australia Group which was established in 1985 as a multilateral export control regime (MECR) and informal group that works to counter spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups through harmonisation of export controls. The initial focus of the group was on chemical agents, but by the 1990s, the mandate was expanded to include biological agents as well.

Facts

  • India has been admitted as 43rd member to Australia group.
  • With its admission into Australia Group, India is now part of three of the four key export control groups in world dealing with non-proliferation. Other two includes Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Wassennar agreement.
  • India is not a member in Nuclear Suppliers Group

11. Belize Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reefs straddling the coast of Belize, in the Atlantic Ocean. The reef has been affected by “devastating” bleaching events over the last three years. It was dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Belize Tourism Board has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to create the Sister Reef Project, which will raise awareness and funds for the protection of the reefs.

12. BHIM-Aadhar Payment System

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