2018-CGS-14: May 1-20, 2018

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

431. 15th Finance Commission : Key Terms of Reference

Multi dimensional poverty (MDP) is an international measure of acute poverty. MDP is based on three key categories of health, education and living standards.

The findings of the paper titled ‘Estimates of Multidimensional Poverty in India: Evidence from National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-2016) are

  • Between 2005-06 to 2015-16, poverty levels have come down from 55% to 21%, improving the country’s MDP ranking.
  • As a result of the decline in the poverty India has moved to the 26th rank from its earlier 54, in a decade, among 102 developing countries with MDP.
  • The fall in the poverty levels which is at the rate of 3.4 points per annum on average is contributed to the “lower burden of poverty” among the southern Indian States.
  • The poverty levels have dropped in all States. The national average stands at 21%. The average for the five southern states is at 9%.
  • Among the southern states Kerala has an MDP of 1%, Tamil Nadu (6%), Karnataka (11%), Telangana (14%) and Andhra Pradesh (13%).
  • Bihar is the poorest State with 43% incidence of poverty. Jharkhand (36%), Uttar Pradesh (31%), Rajasthan (31%) and Odisha (29%) are also above the national average (21%) the poverty levels in the other bigger states are Madhya Pradesh (28%) and Assam (25%).
  • 31 districts all of which are in eastern or central India have over 50% MDP. The top five districts with the largest prevalence of MDP are in Shravasti, Baharaich and Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh, and Alirajpur and Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh.

It is said that India did not perform well at least in two indicators of MDP which includes nutrition and child mortality. The improvements in the overall ranking are contributed to the better performance in other areas. [The Hindu]

432. Advantages and Negative Impacts of the Fracking

There are two key parameters that the government and private sector analysts use to gauge the level of activity in the manufacturing sector. They are the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

Difference between IIP and PMI

  • PMI is a private sector survey while the IIP is gauged by the government.
  • The IIP is a measure of output. PMI measures activity at the purchasing or input stage.

PMI is based on the survey.

  • The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI is based on data compiled from monthly survey responses by purchasing managers in more than 400 manufacturing companies.
  • The manufacturing sector is divided into eight broad categories — basic metals, chemicals and plastics, electrical and optical, food and drink, mechanical engineering, textiles and clothing, timber and paper and transport.
  • The survey responses reflect month-to-month changes based on the data collected mid-month.
  • Based on the responses the PMI is calculated with the weightage under 5 indices-  new orders (weightage 0.3), output (0.25), employment (0.2), suppliers’ delivery times (0.15), stock of items purchased (0.1) and the delivery times index inverted so that it moves in a comparable direction.
  • A score above 50 denotes expansion while one below 50 signifies contraction.

As with the IIP, the PMI suffers from the lacuna of not measuring informal sector activity. PMI is also susceptible to sampling errors, errors in assigning weights to various indicators and errors that creep in due to inaccurate responses. One important advantage the PMI has over the IIP is how quickly the data for any reporting period comes out. [The Hindu]

433. Applications of Neutrinos

In March 2017, the Assam Government launched Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development (SaCReD) Initiative to develop Majuli, the world’s largest river island, as the country’s first carbon neutral district. SaCReD Initiative will also ensure that infrastructure in Majuli has less carbon. It aims to battle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The will also aim to make the Majul island a Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS), first in the state in order to preserve its rich heritage and legacy.

Biodiversity Heritage Sites

Under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA) the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify in the official gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).

“Biodiversity Heritage Sites” (BHS) are well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the following components:

  • richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories
  • high endemism
  • presence of rare and threatened species
  • keystone species
  • species of evolutionary significance
  • wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties
  • past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and
  • having significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values and are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity, with or without a long history of human  association with them.

434. Atal New India Challenge

Rajya Sabha the upper house of the parliament is the council of states. The features of the process of the election of members to Rajya Sabha are

  • The members of the Rajya Sabha are indirectly elected by the elected representatives of states and Union Territories.
  • The allocation of seats for Rajya Sabha is made on the basis of the population of each state.
  • The election follows rank based voting of system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote which basically means that the single vote cast by an MLA is transferable from one candidate to another in two scenarios.
    • when a candidate obtains more than what is required for their win and therefore has an unnecessary surplus
    • When a candidate polls so few votes that they have absolutely no chance.

In both the cases, the votes are transferred so that there is no wastage.

  • To win a Rajya Sabha seat, a candidate should get a required number of votes which is known as quota or preference vote.
  • The formula for calculating the quota is

[Total number of votes/(Number of Rajya Sabha seats + 1)] + 1.

  • There are certain conditions when a ballot paper is deemed invalid. These include figure 1 not being marked or if figure 1 is assigned to the names of more than one candidate or is placed in a confusing manner. Other reasons include assigning two figures to one candidate or if there is any mark or writing by which the elector can be identified.

The differential representation of the states in the rajyasabha which is based on the legislative strength/population of the state is often referred as non-federal feature of the Indian constitution. Of-late Rajya Sabha has become a disruptive house rather than a delaying house. As a result calls are being made to analyse the relevance of Rajya Sabha in 21st century India. [Indian Express]

435. Baryons and Omega C-0 Particles

436. Biodiversity Heritage Sites

437. Border Haats

Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor is a multi-modal transport corridor with the aim to connect India (Kolkata) and china (Kunming) via Bangladesh (Dhaka) and Myanmar (Mandalay). The idea was given a shape in the form of BCIM forum in 1999 in the first ‘Kunming Initiative’, the capital of Chinese Yunnan province

It is intended to advance multi-modal connectivity, promote investment and trade and facilitate people-to-people contacts through a combination of road, rail, water and air linkages in the region. The multi-modal corridor will be the first expressway between India and China and will pass through Myanmar and Bangladesh.

438. BRS Conventions

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has drafted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Draft Bill, 2018, that will amend the 2007 version of the legislation to expand its scope and provide for more stringent penalties.

The provisions of the bill include

  • The Bill expands the definition of children, which currently refers to only biological children and grandchildren, to include daughter-in-law and son-in-law and also adopted/step-children.
  • The Centre has proposed to enhance the jail term for those found abandoning or abusing their parents, 60 years or older, to six months from the existing three months.
  • It extends the definition of maintenance beyond provision of food, clothing, housing, health care to include “safety and security” of the parent.
  • Under the provisions of the bill senior citizens Senior citizens can approach a Maintenance Tribunal in case their children neglect or refuse to maintain them.
  • The draft Bill states that the Tribunal can order the children or, in case the person is childless, the relative to pay a monthly maintenance to the senior citizen. The amount would be decided by taking into account the standard of living of the senior citizen and the financial situation of both the parties.
  • The Act currently provides an upper limit of Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance amount. The Bill proposes to make this amount variable as people who earn more, can afford to shell out a higher amount for the upkeep of their parents.
  • The Bill also introduces a punitive measure of up to one month imprisonment in case the monthly allowance remains unpaid.
  • It states that if parents transfer property to their children on the condition that they take care of them, and this clause is breached, the transfer of property will be deemed to be “made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence” and a tribunal can order it to be transferred back to the parent. [Indian Express]

439. Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO)

Section 377

Section 377 of the Indian penal code defines unnatural offences. The section reads as follows:  “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished”. This section is there in IPC since it was introduced by Lord Macaulay in 1860. One of the grounds of introduction of the section was homosexuality or acts against the order of nature are condemned by the bible. The section has been in news as voices being raised against its being in violation of human rights, harassment and violence against LGBT community. The LGBT community and a part of society wants this section to be repealed. The issue has been sub-judice several times.

Sections 499 and 500

Under sections 499 and 500 of the IPC, a person guilty of criminal defamation can be sent to jail for two years. There are several petitions filed in Supreme Court of India challenging the constitutional validity of sections 499 and 500 of IPC. The petitions contend that the both sections went beyond the restrictions enshrined in Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution and thus constricting the freedom of speech beyond the reasonable limits. The test is in determining whether these sections impairing the freedom of speech beyond reasonable restrictions.

Section 295-A

Section 295A of IPC states that any speech or written text or signs, which maliciously insults or attempts to insult and demean the religious beliefs of any class of people is punishable with imprisonment upto 4 years or fine or both. Such laws are instrumental in tackling deliberate acts of hate speeches which are major source of unrest in many pockets of the world. The law has been highly misused by miscreants who tried to encroach upon the fundamental right of free speech of people if latter expressed a conflicting viewpoint to the former. It has thus led people to self-censor their expression for fear of prosecution.

Section 124-A

Section 124A Of the IPC relates to Sedition. It reads as ‘Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.’

The Law Commission of India had undertaken a careful re-examination of Section 124A. In its 42nd report, published in 1971, it wanted the section to be extended to include disaffection towards the Constitution of India, Parliament and state legislatures and the administration of justice.

440. Claim Ratio under National Health Protection Mission

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