Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 3 March, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.

1. Udyog Manthan

Why in news?

Udyog Manthan: Marathon of focused webinars for promoting Quality and Productivity in Indian Industry concluded (4th January – 2nd March 2021)

Key points are:

– During the last eight weeks, 46 sessions covering 70% of GDP have been conducted including Automobile, Steel, Pharma, Defence, Cement, Textiles.

– 393 speakers and 17,000+ viewers over various media platforms and an approx 6.5 million+ social media impressions.

– Piyush Goyal said, “Quality is not an accident, it is a result of painstaking effort”. He emphasised, “Quality is non-negotiable if we want to Make in India”.

– Many high-profile International speakers and experts shared valuable insights on Global Best Practices.

– Recommendations on all major sectors are being consolidated in a sectoral compendium to be published soon.

2. Central Revenues Control Laboratory

Why in news?

Central Revenues Control Laboratory (CRCL), New Delhi, under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, on 2 March, 2021 recognized as a Regional Customs Laboratory (RCL) of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for Asia-Pacific Region.

Key points are:

– In a virtual signing ceremony Mr. KunioMikuriya, Secretary-General, WCO and Mr. M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman, CBIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this behalf.

– Established in 1939, CRCL is the headquarters of 14 Revenue Laboratories, including 2 laboratories working at Government Opium & Alkaloid Works, Ghazipur&Neemuch.

– These laboratories have been upgraded extensively in the past 3 years and new state-of-art equipment, costing about Rs.80 crore, have been installed.

– With the introduction of instrument-based testing, Revenue Laboratories are, now, facilitating faster clearances, without compromising on law enforcement, and thereby playing a vital role in trade facilitation.

– With its recognition as RCL, CRCL joins a select group of Customs Laboratories in the region like those in Japan & Korea.

– On this occasion, Secretary-General Mr. KunioMikuriya complimented the Indian Customs Administration and the CRCL for achieving this distinction.

– Mr. M. Ajit Kumar, Chairman, CBIC underlined the active role played by India in Customs co-operation and reiterated the commitment of the Indian Customs Administration to play a leading role in the region through this newly recognised Regional Customs Laboratory.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 1 March, 2021

3. World Wildlife Day

Why in news?

World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3 to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s flora and fauna.

Key points are:

– This year’s theme for World Wildlife Day is “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.

– The day is about raising awareness about wildlife and educating yourself and others about the diversity and importance of flora and fauna across the world.

– On December 20, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness about animals and plants on our planet.

– In its resolution, the United Nations General Assembly stressed the importance of flora and fauna and reaffirmed the intrinsic value and various contributions of wildlife.

– The UN went on to declare that World Wildlife Day would be dedicated to keeping people aware and updated about the changing nature of the world and the flora and fauna that are constantly threatened by human activities.

– The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of World Wildlife Day.

4. ‘The Opportunity Index 2021’

Why in news?

‘The Opportunity Index 2021’ is a new report by LinkedIn. The survey, conducted in January, saw participation from more than 10,000 respondents across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. It covered 2,285 respondents in India.

Key points are:

– 9 in 10 or 89 per cent of women were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

– About 85% or four in five working women in India believe they have missed out on a raise, promotion, or work offer because of their gender. This average stands at 60% for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

– More women in India have experienced the impact of gender on career development when compared to the APAC region.

Challenges for women are:

– Lack of time and discrimination for family care.

– Gender is a barrier when it comes to attaining opportunities.

– Lack of guidance through networks.

– Workplace discrimination because of household responsibilities.

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5. Revising National Food Security Act, 2013

Why in news?

NITI Aayog, through a discussion paper, has recommended reducing the rural and urban coverage under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, to 60% and 40%, respectively. It has also proposed a revision of beneficiaries as per the latest population which is currently being done through Census- 2011.

Key points are:

– Approximately 2.37 crore households or 9.01 crore persons, as in February 2021 under Antyodaya Anna Yojana.

– While approximately 70.35 crore persons are under the priority households.

– If the rural-urban coverage ratio remains the same (67% of all population), then the total number of people covered will increase from the existing 81.35 crore to 89.52 crore – an increase of 8.17 crore (based on the projected 2020 population).

– This will result in an additional subsidy requirement of Rs. 14,800 crore.

– If the national coverage ratio is revised downward, the Centre can save up to Rs. 47,229 crore.

– This amount of savings can be utilised by the Government in other important areas of concern such as health and education.

Challenges are:

– In the times of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be a double burden (Unemployment and Food insecurity issues) on the poor section of the society.

– The move may be opposed by some of the states.

6. WhatsApp’s new policy being examined

Why in news?

The Central government has informed the Delhi High Court that it was examining WhatsApp’s controversial new privacy policy, which is scheduled to come into effect from May 15, at the highest level.

Key points are:

The court was hearing a petition claiming that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy violates the right to privacy guaranteed under the Constitution.

– The plea said the new policy “virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity” without there being any supervision of the government.

– The plea sought a direction to issue guidelines to ensure such change in the privacy policy by WhatsApp are carried out.

Policy key features are:

Information Sharing with Third-Party Services: When users rely on third-party services or other Facebook Company Products that are integrated with our Services, those third-party services may receive information about what you or others share with them.

Hardware Information: WhatsApp collects information from devices such as battery level, signal strength, app version, browser information, mobile network, connection information (including phone number, mobile operator or ISP) among others.

Deleting the Account: If someone only deletes the WhatsApp app from their device without using the in-app delete my account feature, then that user’s information will remain stored with the platform.

Data Storage: WhatsApp mentions that it uses Facebook’s global infrastructure and data centers including those in the United States to store user data. It also states that the data in some cases will be transferred to the United States or other parts where Facebook’s affiliate companies are based.

Location: Even if a user does not use their location-relation features, Whatsapp collects IP addresses and other information like phone number area codes to estimate your general location (city, country).

Payment Services: WhatsApp says that if anyone uses their payments services they will process additional information about you, including payment account and transaction information.

7. Formation & Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)

Why in news?

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare celebrated the first anniversary of the Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Formation & Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)’.

Key points are:

In February 2020, at Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh) with a budgetary provision of Rs. 6865 crore.

About:

– More than 2200 FPOs produce clusters have been allocated for the formation of FPOs in 2020-21.

– Implementing Agencies (IAs) are engaging Cluster-Based Business Organizations (CBBOs) to aggregate, register & provide professional handholding support to each FPO for a period of 5 years.

– CBBOs will be the platform for an end to end knowledge for all issues related to FPO promotion.

– Financial Assistance: Up to Rs. 18.00 lakh per FPO for a period of 3 years. Provision has also been made for matching equity grant up to Rs. 2,000 per farmer member of FPO with a limit of Rs. 15.00 lakh per FPO.

– Provision of a credit guarantee facility up to Rs. 2 crores of project loan per FPO from the eligible lending institution to ensure institutional credit accessibility to FPOs.

– It will promote the selling of farmers’ produce from the farm gate of farmers thereby enhancing farmers’ income.

– This will shorten the supply chain and accordingly marketing costs will get reduced resulting in better income for farmers.

 

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