GS PAPER II NEWS
Climate Resilience Information System and Planning (CRISP-M) Tool
Why in News
- Geographical Information System (GIS) based watershed under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA jointly with Lord Tariq Ahmed, Minister of State for South Asia and Commonwealth at UK’s Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, through a virtual program by the Union Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. The Climate Resilience Information System and Planning (CRISP-M) tool for integration of climate information in planning was launched.
- CRISP-M tool will help in linking climate information in GIS based planning and implementation of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.
- The implementation of CRISP-M will open up new possibilities for our rural communities to tackle climate change issues.
- The tool will be used in seven states where the Foreign Office for Commonwealth and Development (FCDO), the British government and the Indian government’s Ministry of Rural Development are jointly working towards climate resilience. These states are Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
- Several impact studies of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA across India show the impact of ground level planning, implementation and utilization in the form of groundwater recharge, forest cover and increased land productivity.
- The Ministry of Rural Development has already prepared GIS based plans for 1.82 lakh gram panchayats out of the total 2.69 lakh gram panchayats in India, which are designed to conserve water by taking into account the ridge to valley hypothesis. with the help of remote sensing technology is about 68 per cent.
- Now, with the launch of this CRISP-M tool, integration of climate information in GIS based watershed planning will be possible and this will further strengthen the planning of climate resilient actions under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is an employment guarantee scheme implemented in India, enacted by legislation on 7 September 2005.
- The scheme provides 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household who are willing to do public work-related unskilled labor at a statutory minimum wage of Rs.220 per day.
- The Act was introduced with the aim of increasing the purchasing power of rural people, mainly for people living in rural India with semi-skilled or unskilled jobs, whether they are below poverty line or not.
- About a third of the assigned work force is made up of women.
- Initially it was called the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), but was renamed on 2 October 2009.
GS PAPER II
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021
Why in News
- The Central Government has issued new rules related to abortion on 12 October 2021. The government has notified new rules regarding abortion, under which the gestation period for medical abortion for certain categories of women has been increased from 20 weeks to 24 weeks (from five months to six months).
- These new rules have been notified under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021, passed in Parliament in March.
- Under the old rules, abortion up to 12 weeks (three months) required the advice of a doctor and medical termination of pregnancy at 12 to 20 weeks (three to five months) required the advice of two doctors. It was necessary.
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- Rajya Sabha approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 on 16 March 2021 with the aim of amending the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. The bill was approved by the Lok Sabha on 17 March 2020.
Features of these modifications:
- Raising the upper limit of gestation period from 20 to 24 weeks for special category of women as defined in the amendments to be made in the MTP rules and will cover rape victims, incest victims and other vulnerable Women (such as women with disabilities, minors) etc. will be included.
- The opinion of one provider (doctor) will be required for termination of pregnancy up to 20 weeks of gestation and the opinion of two providers (doctors) for termination of pregnancy up to 20-24 weeks of gestation.
- The upper limit of gestational age will not be applicable in cases of serious fetal abnormalities as determined by the Medical Board in the order of diagnosis. The composition of the Medical Board, its functions and other details relating thereto shall be prescribed in the rules covered under this Act.
- The name and other details of the woman who terminates the pregnancy shall not be disclosed to any person other than a person authorized in any law.
- The basis for contraceptive failure has been extended to women and their partners.
- The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 aims to expand women’s access to safe and legally recognized services of abortion on medical, eugenic, humane or social grounds.
- Some of these amendments are aimed at increasing the upper limit of gestation for termination of pregnancy in certain circumstances and strengthening access to intensive care facilities during abortion under strict conditions without compromising on the quality and service of safe abortion. Certain sub-sections have been replaced and certain new conditions have been inserted under certain sections of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
- This bill is a step towards the safety and welfare of women and many women will be benefitted from it. Recently, a number of petitions were filed in the courts by various women seeking permission for abortions beyond the current permissible limit of gestational age on the basis of the contention of pregnancies due to fetal abnormalities or sexual violence.
- These amendments will increase women’s coverage and access to safe abortion services and ensure dignity, autonomy, privacy and justice for women who need to terminate a pregnancy.
- As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Rules, 2021, special category of women are victims of sexual assault, gang rape or rape or in-family adultery, minors, women whose marital status has changed during pregnancy (became widowed) or divorced) and women with disabilities.
- In the new rule, mentally ill women, the fetus has any such deformity or disease which is likely to endanger her life or, after birth, is likely to cause such mental or physical deformity as is likely to cause severe disability. Pregnant women are also included in humanitarian crisis areas or disaster or emergency declared by the government.
GS PAPER III
Power Finance Corporation
Why in New
- The Government of India has accorded ‘Maharatna’ status to the state-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC). The move will pave the way for greater financial and operational efficiency of the company.
- The Government of India has accorded the coveted ‘Maharatna’ status to the state-owned Power Finance Corporation, thus providing greater operational and financial autonomy to PFC.
- An order to this effect was issued on 12 October 2021 by the Department of Public Enterprises under the Ministry of Finance.
- With the grant of Maharatna status to Power Finance Corporation, the Board of PFC will be given more powers while taking financial decisions.
- This new recognition will enable Power Finance Corporation to offer competitive financing for the power sector. It will go a long way in providing affordable and reliable ‘power for all 24×7’.
- With the increased strength of the Maharatna, PFC will further accelerate the growth of its business to achieve the objectives of the government and diversify its operations to leverage this position for the overall development of the power sector.
About Power Finance Corporation
- Power Finance Corporation was established in the year 1986. It is the largest infrastructure finance company dedicated to the power sector under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power.
- The company has got this ‘Maharatna’ status due to its exceptional financial performance during the last 03 years.
- Despite COVID-19, the company has achieved the highest ever annual approvals and disbursements to the power sector during FY 2020-21 with Rs 1.66 lakh crore and Rs 88,300 crore respectively as well as the highest ever in FY 2020-21. The highest profit has been achieved at Rs 8,444 crore.
Maharatna Companies in India
There are a total of 11 companies in India which have been given ‘Maharatna’ status. Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is the 11th firm to be included in this list.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL)
- Coal India Limited (CIL)
- Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL)
- Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL)
- Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
- National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC)
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)
- Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL)
- Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL)
- Power Finance Corporation (PFC)
GS PAPER III
Indian economy to grow at 9.5 percent in 2021: IMF
Why in News
- According to the latest estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook October 2021, the Indian economy is expected to grow at 9.5 per cent in 2021 and 8.5 per cent in 2022.
- The IMF said that India’s economy grew by 7.3 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Indian economy had contracted by 7.3 per cent during the financial year 2020-21. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has kept India’s growth projections stable over the previous estimate released in July this year, although it remained unchanged for April. 1.6 percent lower than estimates.
- Among other countries, the IMF has projected China to grow at 5.6 percent, the US at 5.2 percent and the United Kingdom at 5 percent in 2022.
- The International Monetary Fund has slightly lowered its global growth forecast for 2021 to 5.9 per cent, while it has kept its forecast for 2022 unchanged at 4.9 per cent.
- The forecast for 2021 is 0.1 percent lower than the July forecast.
- In the US, this rate is 5.2 percent.
- According to the IMF, the Indian economy is expected to grow at 9.5 percent in 2021 and 8.5 percent in 2022, while in 2022 the rate may be as high as 5.2 percent in the US and 5.6 percent in China.
- Barring India and Spain, this growth rate has not been projected to exceed 6 percent in any other country.
According to the World Economic Outlook (WEO)
- According to the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) released ahead of the annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank, the growth rate of the whole world has been projected to be 5.9 percent in 2021 and 4.9 percent in 2022.
- At the same time, the US economy is projected to grow at the rate of six percent this year and 5.2 percent next year.
- According to these forecasts, China’s economy can grow by eight percent in 2021 and 5.6 percent in 2022.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has projected the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to grow at 9.5 percent for the financial year 2021-22. But, in the first quarter of the financial year 2022-23, the economic growth rate has been estimated at 17.2 percent.