Daily Current Affairs for 23th August 2022

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Asian Development Bank

GS Paper 2: Important International institutions
Important for
Prelims exam: ADB, Jal Jeevan Mission
Why in news
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $96.3-million loan agreement to provide safe drinking water and improve water supply and sanitation services in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

About the Project

● The project is aligned with the objectives of the Government of India’s Jal Jeevan Mission which aims to provide piped water to all rural households by 2024 and it will upgrade water supply infrastructure and strengthen institutional capacity to ensure safe, sustainable, and inclusive rural water supply and sanitation services.
● ADB’s involvement in the project will provide water management best practices, strengthen institutional capacity, and guide tariff reform.
● More than 90% of the state’s rural population have access to drinking water, but the water supply infrastructure needs revamping, to result in efficient and improved service quality.
● The ADB project will connect 75,800 households to the service, providing uninterrupted water supply to about 3,70,000 residents across 10 districts.
● To improve water supply and sanitation services, the project aims to construct 48 groundwater wells, 80 surface water intake facilities, 109 water treatment plants, 117 pumping stations, and 3,000 km of water distribution pipelines.
● A pilot faecal sludge management and sanitation programme will also be implemented in Sirmaur District, benefiting 250,000 residents.
● It will support the state government’s water tariff policy reforms and introduce an asset management system at the state-level and district asset management plans.

About ADB

● ADB was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
● The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution, was founded in 1966 by 31 member governments to promote the social and economic progress of the Asian and Pacific region.
○ From 31 members at its establishment in 1966, ADB has grown to encompass 68 members, of which 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
○ A founding member of ADB in 1966, India is now ADB’s fourth largest shareholder and its top borrower since 2010.
○ Japan and the US represent the largest shareholders with 15.67% each of shares. China and India are the third (6.47%) and fourth (6.357%) largest shareholders, respectively.
● The headquarters of Asian Development Bank is situated in Manila, Philippines. .
● The Bank’s principal functions are:
○ To extend loans and equity investments for the economic and social development of its developing member countries (DMCs);
○ To provide technical assistance for the preparation and execution of development projects and programmes, and for advisory services;
○ To promote and facilitate investment of public and private capital for development purposes; and
○ To respond to requests for assistance in coordinating development policies and plans of its DMCs.

Zonal Council

GS Paper 2: Centre State relation
Important for
Prelims exam: Zonal council
Mains exam: Centre state relation and interstate coordination, effectiveness of zonal council

Why in news

Union Home and Cooperation Minister chaired the 23rd meeting of the Central Zonal Council in Bhopal.

Key takeaways from the meet

The 23rd meeting of the Central Zonal Council discussed the following:
● Expansion of banking facilities within 5 kms of all villages as per the vision given by the Prime Minister for expansion of the banking network in rural areas.
● Seamless integration of the Police Help Line No. 112 with the Women Helpline No. – 181 and Child Help Line No. – 1098 and through this and shifting the cases related to women to ‘Sakhi -One Stop Center’ on a real time basis.
● The issue of release of grants to State Home Guards and declaring Bhopal, Indore and Raipur airports as international airports was also discussed in the meeting.
● The Union Home Minister also asked the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of the States included in the Central Zonal Council to regularly monitor the issues raised in the Council meeting every month so that these issues can be resolved expeditiously.

About Zonal Council

● Zonal Councils are the statutory bodies. They are established by an Act of the Parliament, that is, States Reorganisation Act of 1956.
● The act divided the country into five zones- Northern, Central, Eastern, Western and Southern and provided a zonal council for each zone.

Basis of division:

○ Natural divisions of the country.
○ River systems and means of communication.
○ Cultural affinity.
○ Linguistic affinity
○ Requirements of economic development, security and law and order.
○ The Northern Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh,
○ The Central Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh,
○ The Eastern Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Sikkim and West Bengal,
○ The Western Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli,
○ The Southern Zonal Council: It comprises the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

North-Eastern Council

○ North-Eastern Council was created by the North-Eastern Council Act of 1971.
○ Its members include Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura and Sikkim.
● Organisational Structure:
○ Chairman: The Union Home Minister is the Chairman of each of these Councils.
○ Vice Chairman: The Chief Ministers of the States included in each zone act as Vice-Chairman of the Zonal Council for that zone by rotation, each holding office for a period of one year at a time.
○ Members: Chief Minister and two other Ministers as nominated by the Governor from each of the States and two members from Union Territories included in the zone.
Objectives of the Councils
The main objectives of setting up of Zonal Councils are as under:
● Bringing out national integration;
● Arresting the growth of acute State consciousness, regionalism, linguism and particularistic tendencies;
● Enabling the Centre and the States to co-operate and exchange ideas and experiences;
● Establishing a climate of co-operation amongst the States for successful and speedy execution of development projects.
Function of the Councils
Each Zonal Council is an advisory body and may discuss any matter in which some or all of the States represented in that Council, or the Union and one or more of the States represented in that Council, have a common interest and advise the Central Government and the Government of each State concerned as to the action to be taken on any such matter.
In particular, a Zonal Council may discuss, and make recommendations with regard to:
● any matter of common interest in the field of economic and social planning;
● any matter concerning border disputes, linguistic minorities or inter-State transport;
● Any matter connected with or arising out of, the reorganisation of the States under the States Reorganisation Act.

Special Status and Special Category Status to States

GS Paper 2: Centre State relation
Important for
Prelims exam: Special Status and Special Category Status to States
Mains exam: Issues related to Special Status to states and why states are pressuring centre to get the tag
Why in news
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed various issues, mainly the implementation of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, the Polavaram project and the Special Category Status (SCS).
Special Category Status
A Special Category Status (SCS) is a classification given by the Centre to assist in the development of those states that face:geographical and socio-economic disadvantages like:
• Hilly terrains,
• Strategic international borders,
• Economic and infrastructural backwardness, and
• Non-viable state finances.
The decision to grant special category status lies with the National Development Council, composed of the prime minister, union ministers, chief ministers and members of the planning commission, who guide and review the work of the commission.

Historical background

● The concept of a special category status was first introduced in 1969 by the fifth Finance Commission to provide certain disadvantaged states with preferential treatment in the form of
• Central assistance and tax breaks,
• Establishing special development boards,
• Reservation in local government jobs,
• Educational institutions.
● Initially, three states; Assam, Nagaland and Jammu & Kashmir were granted special status but from 1974-1979, five more states were added under the special category.
○ These include Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura. In
● In 1990, with the addition of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, the states increased to 10. The state of Uttarakhand was given special category status in 2001.
The 14th Finance Commission effectively removed the concept of special category status after its recommendations were accepted in 2015.

Difference between special category status and special status

• The constitution provides special status through an Act that has to be passed by 2/3rds majority in both the houses of Parliament whereas the special category status is granted by the National Development Council, which is an administrative body of the government.
• Special status empowers legislative and political rights while special category status deals only with economic, administrative and financial aspects.
Tomato flu
GS Paper 3: Disaster Management
Important for
Prelims exam: Tomato flu

Why in news

A new infection dubbed tomato flu, or tomato fever, has been detected in India mostly among children younger than five, according to a report in the Lancet Respiratory Journal.
About Tomato flu
● The tomato flu is caused by Coxsackievirus A 16. It belongs to Enterovirus family.
● Similar to other types of influenza, tomato flu is very contagious and children are at an increased risk of exposure as viral infections are common in this age group and the spread is likely to be through close contact.
● Young children are also prone to this infection through the use of nappies, touching unclean surfaces, and putting things directly into the mouth
Symptoms of Tomato flu
● The primary symptoms observed in children with tomato flu are similar to those of chikungunya, which include high fever, rashes, and intense pain in joints.
● Some of its symptoms like body aches, fever and fatigue are similar to those experienced by Covid-19 patients.
● symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, dehydration, swelling of joints, body aches, and common influenza-like symptoms, which are similar to those manifested in dengue.
● In some cases, patients also reported the development of rashes on their skin.
Treatment of Tomato flu
● As tomato flu is similar to chikungunya and dengue as well as hand, foot, and mouth disease, the treatment is also similar, isolation, rest, plenty of fluids, and hot water sponge for the relief of irritation and rashes.
● Supportive therapy of paracetamol for fever and body ache and other symptomatic treatments may be required.
New foreign investment rules
GS Paper 3: Mobilisation of resources, Growth and Investments
Important for

Prelims exam: foreign investment rule

Why in news
Government issues foreign investment rules for Indian firms. The Foreign Exchange Management (Overseas Investment) Rules, 2022 will subsume the existing Overseas Investments and Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property Outside India Regulations, 2015.

Need of these rules

● In view of the evolving needs of businesses in India, in an increasingly integrated global market, there is a need for Indian corporates to be part of the global value chain.
● The revised regulatory framework for overseas investment provides for simplification of the existing framework for overseas investment and has been aligned with the current business and economic dynamics,
New Rules
● The new rules include overseas investment in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) by persons resident in India.
○ A person resident in India may make overseas investment in an IFSC in India within the limits.
● It said that a resident individual may make Overseas Direct Investment in a foreign entity, including an entity engaged in financial services activity, (except in banking and insurance), in IFSC, if such entity does not have subsidiary or step down subsidiary outside IFSC where the resident individual has control in the foreign entity.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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