Current Affairs

Current News Indian Economy

New Series of Wage Rate Index Released

The Labour ministry has released the new series of wage rate index (WRI) with the base year being 2016.

  • The new series of WRI with base 2016=100 will replace the old series with base 1963-65.
  • Government periodically revises the base year of WRI for key economic indicators in order to provide a clear picture of economic changes and record the wage pattern of workers.

Why this Change?

  • It was done after the recommendations of International Labour Organization and National Statistical Commission, to enhance the coverage and to make index more representative – which will play a critical role in determining the minimum wages and national floor wages along with other parameters.

What is New?

  • The new WRI series has expanded the scope and coverage in terms of number of industries, sample size, occupations under selected industries as well as weightage of industries among other indicators.
  • A total of 37 industries have been covered in the new WRI basket as against 21 industries in the 1963-65 series. The selected 37 industries in the new series are 30 from the manufacturing sector, four from the mining sector and three from the plantation sector.

Frequency of Compilation

  • The new WRI series would be compiled twice a year on point-to-point half-yearly basis, as on January 1 and July 1 of every year.

What is Wage Rate?

  • Wage rate may be defined as the price of working energy spent by a worker either for a specified period of time or for a specified measure of performance. This rate is settled in advance between the employer & employee.

Weightage of the Top Five Industries

  • Motor vehicles (11.49 per cent), coal mines (9.53 per cent), textile garments (9.32 per cent), iron & steel (9.30 per cent), and cotton textiles (6.55 per cent) — together account for 46 per cent of the total weight.

Current News International

Bangladesh, Nepal & Lao PDR to get ‘Developing’ Country Status

On 24 November 2021, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution for Graduation of Bangladesh, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Nepal from the least developed country category.

  • The three countries will graduate from the LDC category after an exceptionally extended preparatory period of five years (the standard period is of three years) to enable them to prepare for graduation.
  • The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) is mandated by the General Assembly (GA) and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to review the list of LDCs every three years and to make recommendations on the inclusion and graduation of eligible countries using the following criteria:
    • Income
    • Human Assets
    • Economic and Environmental Vulnerability

Graduation Thresholds: 2021 Triennial Review

Gross National Income
(GNI) per capita
GNI per capita: $1,222 or above
Income-only: $2,444 or above
Human Assets Index
66 or above
Economic Vulnerability Index
32 or below

Impact of Graduation: Double Edged

  • Pros: Certain preferential provisions in export, provision of subsidy to agriculture and infant industries and access to climate finance are likely to cease after transition from LDC.
  • Cons: Enhanced confidence of international financial bodies, improved credit rating and higher FDI are expected to benefit after the transition period is completed.

Current News National Defence

INS Vela Commissioned

  • INS Vela, the fourth submarine in the series of six submarines of Project-75, was commissioned on 25 Nov 21.
  • The Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group (earlier DCNS), France.
  • The Scorpene submarines are extremely potent platforms, they have advanced stealth features and are also equipped with both long range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles. These submarines have a state of the art SONAR and sensor suite permitting outstanding operational capabilities. They also have an advanced Permanent Magnetic Synchronous motor (PERMASYN) as its propulsion motor.
  • The first of the six subs, INS Kalvari, was commissioned in 2017. After Kalvari, two more submarines under the contract, INS Khanderi and INS Karanj, were commissioned. Vela is the fourth, and sea trials are ongoing for Vagir, while the sixth, Vagsheer, is under construction.

Current News International

Interpol General Assembly 2021

The 89th General Assembly of Interpol was held from 23 – 25 November, at Istanbul, Turkey which meets once a year.

The 90th INTERPOL General Assembly will be held in New Delhi, India in 2022.

Highlights of 89th Meet

Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi elected as President of Interpol

  • Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, inspector general of the UAE's interior ministry, has been elected as the President of Interpol for a four-year term.
  • He has been accused of torture against UAE security forces.

Praveen Sinha from India elected as ‘Delegate for Asia’

  • Praveen Sinha, special director at India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), was elected ‘Delegate for Asia’ on the executive committee of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
  • The 13-member executive committee of the Interpol supervises the general secretariat’s work, in line with the decisions of the general assembly, which is the supreme governing body of Interpol, comprising representatives from each of the member countries. The executive committee meets three times a year and sets organisational policy and direction.

About Interpol

  • Interpol is a vital body for tackling the rising spectre of trans-national organised crimes, terrorism and cyber-crimes.
  • It is headquartered in Lyon, France.
  • INTERPOL has 195 member countries, making us the world's largest police organization. They work together and with the General Secretariat to share data related to police investigations.
  • Each country hosts an INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB), which links national police with our global network.
  • The post of secretary-general is currently held by Juergen Stock of Germany.

Current News National Study/Survey/Report/Index

Key Findings of NFHS-5 Phase II

After NFHS-5 in respect of 22 States & UTs covered in Phase-I (released in December, 2020), the Phase II report was released recently for India and 14 States/UTs (clubbed under Phase-II) of the 2019-21 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5).

The States and UTs which were surveyed in the Phase-II are Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The key results from India and Phase-II States/UTs NFHS-5 Factsheet

More Women than Men in India for the 1st Time

  • India now has 1,020 women for every 1000 men. The numbers indicate that India can no longer be called a country of “missing women”, a phrase first used by Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen in a 1990 essay in the New York Review of Books. Back then, there were 927 women per 1,000 men in India. According to NFHS-3, conducted in 2005-06, the ratio was equal, 1000: 1000; it went down to 991:1000 in 2015-16 in NFHS-4. This is the first time, in any NFHS or Census, that the sex ratio is skewed in favour of women.

Gender Ratio at Birth - Still a Concern

  • The gender ratio at birth for children born in the last five years is still 929, which suggests that son-preference, in its various macabre forms, still persists, but the sex ratio is a significant milestone achieved on the back of policies aimed to curb sex selection practices that were once rampant and female infanticide, and on the fact that women in India tend to live longer than men.

Other Findings

  • The Total Fertility Rates (TFR) - an average number of children per women has further declined from 2.2 to 2.0 at the national level and all 14States/UT’s ranging from 1.4 in Chandigarh to 2.4 in Uttar Pradesh. All Phase-II States have achieved replacement level of fertility (2.1) except Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Overall Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) has increased substantially from 54% to 67% at all-India level and in almost all Phase-II States/UTs with an exception of Punjab. Use of modern methods of contraceptives has also increased in almost all States/UTs.
  • Unmet needs of Family Planning - have witnessed a significant decline from13 per cent to 9 per cent at all-India level and in most of the Phase-II States/UTs. The unmet need for spacing which remained a major issue in India in the past has come down to less than 10 per cent in all the States except Jharkhand (12%), Arunachal Pradesh (13%) and Uttar Pradesh (13%).
  • Full Immunization Drive among Children aged 12-23 months has recorded substantial improvement from 62 per cent to 76 per cent at all-India level.11out of 14 States/UTs has more than three-fourth of children aged 12-23 months with fully immunization and it is highest (90%) for Odisha.
  • Institutional Births: Increased substantially from 79 per cent to 89 percent at all-India Level. Institutional delivery is 100 per cent in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu and more than 90 per cent in 7 States/UTs out of 12 Phase II States/UTs.
  • C-section: Along with an increase in institutional births, there has also been a substantial increase in C-section deliveries in many States/UTs especially in private health facilities.

Child Nutrition: Improved

  • Stunting: Declined from 38 per cent to 36 per cent
  • Wasting: Declined from 21 per cent to 19 per cent
  • Underweight: Declined from 36 per cent to 32 percent

Breastfeeding: Improved

  • Exclusive breastfeeding to children under age 6 months has shown an improvement in all-India level from 55 percent in 2015-16 to 64 per cent in 2019-21. All the phase-II States/UTs are also showing a considerable progress.

Anaemia is still a Concern

  • Among children and women it continues to be a cause of concern. More than half of the children and women (including pregnant women) are anemic in all the phase-II States/UTs and all-India level compared to NFHS4, in spite of substantial increase in the composition of iron folic acid (IFA) tablets by pregnant women for 180 days or more.

News Crux Important Days/Weeks

26 November: Indian Constitution Day 2021

  • Constitution Day, also known as National Law Day, is observed annually on 26 November to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
  • The Constituent Assembly adopted the Constitution of India on 26 November, 1949, and it came into force on 26 January 1950, which is celebrated in the country as Republic Day.
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, who was the Chairman of the Constitution drafting committee.

News Crux Important Days/Weeks

26 November: National Milk Day

  • Every year since 2014, Dr Verghese Kurien’s birthday (26 November) is observed as National Milk Day.
  • This year (November 26, 2021), marks his 100th birth anniversary.
  • Dr Verghese Kurien is known as the ‘Father of White Revolution’ and ‘Milkman of India’ for his role in making India the largest milk producer in the world. He was also the brains behind 'Operation Flood,' which led to dairy farming becoming the country's largest self-sustaining industry, as well as the largest rural employment sector.
  • Kurien also helped set up the Amul cooperative society in 1946, in Gujarat's Anand.

News Crux Military Exercise & Operations

Exercise ‘Dosti’

  • The 15th edition of the Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka biennial Trilateral Exercise ‘Dosti’ was conducted in the Maldives from 20-24 November 2021.
  • The Exercise is conducted biennially among the Coast Guards of the 3 countries.
  • For many years after it was first launched in 1991, these exercises were bilateral, involving the Indian and the Maldives Coast Guards. In 2012, however, Sri Lanka joined these exercises for the first time.

PIB News National

Constitutional Provisions/ Govt. Initiatives towards Welfare of Tribals

Several provisions have been incorporated in the Constitution for safeguarding and promoting the interests and rights of the Scheduled Tribes in various spheres so as to enable them to join the national mainstream.

(Image Source: Odisha Tourism)

Constitutional Provisions

  • Article 46 of the Constitution provides that the State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the society and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  • Article 15(4): Reservation in educational institution has been provided in Article 15(4).
  • Article 16(4), 16(4A) and 16(4B): Reservation in posts and services has been provided in Article 16(4), 16(4A) and 16(4B) of the Constitution.
  • Article 23 which prohibits traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour has a special significance for Scheduled Tribes. In pursuance of this Article, Parliament has enacted the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.
  • Article 24 which prohibits employment of Children below the age of 14 years in any factory or mine or in any other hazards activity is also significant for Scheduled Tribes.
  • Article 243D provides reservation of Seats for Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats.
  • Article 330 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.
  • Article 332 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Legislative Assemblies of the States.
  • Article 334 provides that reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas (and the representation of the Anglo-Indian Community in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas by nomination) would continue up to January, 2020.
  • Article 244: Other specific safeguards have been provided in Article 244 (read) with the provisions contained in Fifth and Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

Plans & Policies

The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest dwellers (recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA)

  • For protecting the rights of Forest dwellers, in 2016, The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest dwellers (recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) was enacted.
  • FRA Act, administered by Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) recognizes rights of tribals residing in forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.
  • It provides for a framework for recording the forest rights so vested and the nature of evidence required for such recognition and vesting in respect of forest land.

The Panchayat (Extension of the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA)

  • It was enacted by the Centre to ensure self-governance through Gram Sabhas (village assemblies) for people living in scheduled areas.
  • PESA Act is administered by Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR), Govt. of India.
  • It legally recognizes the right of tribal communities, residents of the scheduled areas, to govern themselves through their own systems of self-government, and also acknowledges their traditional rights over natural resources.
  • In pursuance of this objective, PESA empowers Gram Sabhas to play a key role in approving development plans and controlling all social sectors.

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act

  • It was notified in December, 2020 for implementation in J&K following which capacity building Trainings were organised.
  • It was formally rolled out at Srinagar on 13th Sept, 2021 and at Jammu on 18th Sept, 2021.

Training of ST Representatives of PRI

  • The Ministry of Tribal Affairs in coordination with State TRIs have been organizing training programs for officers of State Governments responsible for implementing these acts and also for representatives of Panchayati Raj Institute to make them aware about their constitutional rights.

State In News Madhya Pradesh

Recognising Tantya Bhil - the “Indian Robin Hood”

  • On 22nd November 2021, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh announced that the Patalpani Railway Station in Indore will be renamed after Tantya Bhil, also known as the “Indian Robin Hood”.
  • Tantya Bhil, who belonged to the Bhil tribe of the indigenous Adivasi community, was born in 1840 in Badada village under East Nimar, now known as Khandwa, in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Tantya is hailed as one of the revolutionaries who waged an armed struggle against British rule for 12 years. He used to plunder the treasuries of the British government and the wealth of their followers to distribute it among the poor and needy.

Current Affairs GK

 The Ministry of Ayush has decided to re-examine the use of which herb in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani drugs by constituting an expert group after its use was barred in ASU drugs on October 6, 2021? -- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
 Who recently became the 16th Indian to make a century on a Test debut? -- Shreyas Iyer

Current Question Indian Economy

Credit Rating

With reference to the Sovereign Credit Rating, consider the following statements:

  1. A sovereign credit rating is an independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country or sovereign entity.
  2. It can give investors insights into the level of risk associated with investing in the debt of a particular country, including any political risk.
  3. Another common motivation for countries to obtain a sovereign credit rating is to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).

Choose the correct answer from the options given below:

1 and 2
2 and 3
1,2 and 3
None of the above
Right ans is C

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