Daily Current Affairs - 08-10-2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is set to digitally launch the ‘Indian Space Association’ (ISpA) on October 11, 2021.

Highlights

Function of ISpA

In line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, ISpA aspires become the collective voice of Indian Space industry. It will undertake Policy Advocacy as well as engage with all the stakeholders in Indian Space sector. It will also engage with the Government and its Agencies for making India self-reliant, technologically advanced and a leading player in space sector.

India’s space industry

Space industry of India is driven by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Space industry comprise of more than 500 private suppliers and other various bodies from Department of Space. There are comparatively low independent private agencies. However, private sector has been gaining an increased role since 21st century. Space industry of India accounted for $7 billion in 2019 that is 2% of the world’s space industry.

Three-membered Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) maintained an accommodative stance and kept the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent, in order to revive & sustain growth and reduce the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Key points

Policy rate revision

This was the eighth consecutive time that RBI has maintained a status quo on policy rate. The central bank had last revised its policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle in order to boost the demand by cutting interest rates.

Status of economic activities

According to RBI Governor, high-frequency indicators point that economic activity has gained momentum. Core inflation is still sticky. In July-September, CPI inflation was lower than expected. Currently, India is in a much better place as compared to the last MPC meeting. Now, growth impulses are strengthening. Inflation trajectory is also favourable than it was expected.

MPC’s GDP Forecast

MPC has retained the GDP forecast for FY 2021-22 at 9.5 per cent. GDP projection for Q2 FY22 is estimated at 7.9 per cent, Q3 at 6.8 percent while Q4  at 6.1 per cent. Real GDP growth for Q1 of FY 2022-23 is forecasted as 17.2 per cent.

CPI inflation

For financial year 2021-22, CPI inflation is projected at 5.3 per cent.

Food inflation

As per RBI, food inflation is predicted to remain muted in upcoming months, as a result of record production of food-grains.

Indian Air Force is celebrating its 89th Foundation Day on October 8, 2021.

Key facts

Indian Air Force (IAF)

IAF is the air arm of Indian Armed Forces. It was formed on October 8, 1932 as an auxiliary air force in British Empire. Complement of personnel and aircraft assets of IAF are ranked fourth across the air forces of the world. IAF works with the primary mission of securing Indian airspace. It also conducts aerial warfare during armed conflict. British Empire honoured India’s aviation service with prefix Royal during World War II. The name “Royal Indian Air Force” was kept after India gained independence in 1947. Prefix Royal was removed in 1950, when government transitioned to a Republic.

Supreme Commander of IAF

President of India is the Supreme Commander of IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, is responsible for bulk of operational command of IAF.

India has officially joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, on October 7, 2021.

Key facts

Members of HAC

HAC members presently comprise of a mix of countries in global north and south. Asia, Africa, European and Latin American countries are among the members of HAC. India became the first emerging economy from BRICS bloc to join the HAC.

Biodiversity Meeting

India’s announcement was done in the backdrop of lead up to a high-level biodiversity meeting which will be hosted by China. This virtual meeting will take place from October 11 to October 15. Meeting will discuss the key aspects of “biodiversity treaty” which is to be finalized in 2022. Global 30×30 goal is the centrepiece of biodiversity treaty.

Background

India’s goal to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, was initiated in January 2021 in Paris at the “One Planet Summit”. On the opening of COP15, Ambassador of France to India (Mr. Emmanuel Lenain) said that on India joining the High Ambition Coalition will be a real game changer. This move will boost multilateral efforts, since India is a major player for biodiversity protection.

Aim of the coalition

The HAC coalition aims for promoting an international agreement in order to protect at least 30 percent of world’s land and ocean by 2030.

Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 was conferred to Tanzanian novelist “Abdulrazak Gurnah”.

Key facts

The novelist was awarded with the Prize for his uncompromising & compassionate penetration of “effects of colonialism” and fate of refugees in the gulf between cultures & continents.

Who is Abdulrazak Gurnah?

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in the year 1948. He grew up on the island of Zanzibar in Indian Ocean. Later he arrived in England as a refugee in 1960’s. He worked as Professor of English & Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, Canterbury. He has published ten novels and several short stories.

First Literature

His work revolves around the theme of the refugee’s disruption. He started writing as a 21-year-old in English exile. Even though Swahili was his first language, he made English his literary tool. He consciously breaks with convention to highlight the indigenous populations. As a result, his novel ‘Desertion’ about a love affair becomes a contradiction to “the imperial romance”.

Cultural Interests

Alfred had broad cultural interests. He developed literary interests during his early youth, that lasted throughout his life. His library comprised of a rich selection of literature in different languages. He tried his hand as an author & started writing fiction during the last years of his life.

People recognised under this category

Academy has recognised 117 people for their literary creations, so far. Out of them, 16 are women.

2020 Nobel Prize in Literature

2020 Nobel Prize in Literature was given to American poet Louise Gluck, who is professor of English at Yale University. He was awarded for her unmistakable poetic voice

Uttar Pradesh government has set up a one-member Commission for probing “the Lakhimpur Kheri incident” that took place recently in the state.

Highlights

Lakhimpur Kheri Violence

Lakhimpur Kheri violence took place on October 3, 2021. In the incident, eight people were killed. Out of eight people, four were farmers. They were allegedly stroked down to ground by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Arrest of the accused

Uttar Pradesh Police has arrested two accused, namely Ashish Pandey & Luv Kush so far, in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri case. Police have recovered two missed cartridges of .315 bore bullets from spot of crime in Lakhimpur. Both the arrested individuals are among total of seven accused who were named in FIR. Out of seven, three have died. Uttar Pradesh Police have also issued notice to Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra & asked his son Ashish Mishra to appear before it on Oct 8. Meanwhile, Supreme Court has stepped in and registered a suo motu case.

Central government released an amount of Rs 40,000 crore on October 7, 2021 to states and union territories (UTs) with legislature.

Highlights

Significance of the release

This release is expected to help states in planning their public expenditure, for improving health infrastructure and launching new infrastructure projects.

Background

These amounts are being released in accordance to the decision taken by 43rd GST Council Meeting. In the meeting, government had decided to borrow Rs 1.59 lakh crore in 2021-22 and release the among to states on a back-to-back basis for meeting resource gap. Resource gap has been created due to inadequate amount collected in compensation fund. This amount was decided on the basis of principles adopted in FY 2020-21, where Rs 1.10 lakh crores were released to states.

GST compensation cess

Central government provides “GST compensation cess” keeping the promise with states in the backdrop of enactment of 101st constitutional Amendment Act, 2016 that made GST applicable from July 1, 2017. Under GST, central and state indirect taxes were merged into a single tax. Thus, central government compensate for any shortfall in tax revenue because of implementation of GST . This compensation would be given for a period of five years.

Ministry of Women and Child Development issued a detailed guidelines for “PM CARES for Children Scheme” on October 7, 2021.

Background

Guidelines were issued in the backdrop of announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 29, 2021 regarding a comprehensive support for children who lost both their parents amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

About PM CARES for Children Scheme

Enrolment Procedure

Eligible children are required to register themselves from May 29, 2021 to December 31, 2021 in order to avail benefits of the Scheme. Scheme will run till every identified beneficiary attains 23 years of age.

Entitlements under the scheme

World Cotton Day was observed on October 7, across the world, in a bid to raise awareness regarding the cotton sector among people.

Key Points

Theme of World Cotton Day 2021

World Cotton Day 2021 was observed under the theme- “Cotton for Good”. This theme celebrates the enduring positive impact of cotton, such as providing employment, giving us natural fibres and protecting environment.
Furthermore, according to experts, cotton has a negative carbon footprint because it degrades 95 per cent faster as compared to polyester in wastewater. Thus, it helps in keeping the environment clean.

Background of World Cotton Day

World Trade Organisation (WTO) had launched the “World Cotton Day” in 2019 at the initiative of four cotton-producing sub-Saharan African states namely Benin, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali. The day offered an opportunity of sharing knowledge and showcasing cotton-related activities.

About Cotton

Cotton is the only agricultural crop that provide both food and fibre. It is used in every other cloth because it is comfortable, breathable, hypoallergenic and durable. Cotton is grown in 75 countries of 5 continents, sustaining about 28.67 million growers. Cotton is the major source of livelihood as this sector provides employment and income in the rural areas.

Annual revenue from cotton

As per International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), annual revenue from cotton is about USD 41.2 billion while, cotton trade accounts to USD 18 billion per year. As per UN, cotton crop is resistant to climatic changes. So, it can be planted in dry and arid zones. The fibre occupies only 2.1 per cent of the world’s arable land, but it meets 27 percent of the textile needs of world.

As per World Bank’s report titled “Shifting Gears: Digitization and Services-Led Development”, Indian economy is expected to increase by 8.3% in the fiscal year 2021-2022.

Key findings of report

World Bank on economic recovery

As per World Bank report, economic recovery across various sectors in India has been unequal. Manufacturing & construction sectors recovered steadily in 2021. But, low-skilled individuals, self-employed people, women and small firms were left behind.

Base Effect

Economic data such as ‘GDP growth rate’ are calculated on year-on-year basis. Thus, a low growth rate in the previous year leads to low base for the number in current year.

How India will recover?

As per report, the extent of recovery in financial year 2021-’22 will depend on how faster household incomes recover and activity across informal sector & smaller firms normalises.

What are the risks?

Risks associated with the extent of recovery include- worsening of financial sector stress, slowdown in vaccination, higher inflation constraining monetary-policy support etc.