14 Nov 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

14th Nov 2019 CNA:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS 1 Related
B. GS 2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Kerala will oppose river link project: Minister
2. Collegium is a victim of its own birth pangs, says Justice D.Y. Chandrachud
3. Amended Finance Act: Supreme Court strikes down rules on tribunal postings
HEALTH
1. WHO initiative to boost insulin access
C. GS 3 Related
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY
1. Climate change is harming health of children, says Lancet report
2. They save people from cyclones, but who is saving the Sunderbans mangroves?
D.GS 4 Related
E. Editorials
GOVERNANCE
1. CJI's Office to Come Under RTI Ambit, Rules SC
2. A balancing act
POLITY
1. SC Upholds Disqualification of 17 MLAs
ECONOMY
1. Gloom deepens: On shrinking industrial output
F. Tidbits
1. Gold is third-most popular investment
G. Prelims Facts
1. Retail Inflation
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS 1 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

B. GS 2 Related

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Kerala will oppose river link project: Minister

 Context:

The Kerala State government is taking all precautions to prevent the implementation of the Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar river link project, according to the Water Resources Minister K. Krishnankutty.

Issue:

  • The state had all along taken a stand that Pamba-Achankovil would not be allowed to be connected with the Vaippar river in Tamil Nadu under the inter-linking of rivers project.
  • State representatives had always put forward this stand at the meeting of the technical advisory committee governing body of the National Water Development Authority, which had prepared the feasibility study report on the project.
  • Kerala asserts that there is no excess water in rivers in the state.

Details:

  • The river link proposal is listed among the river linking projects of the NWDA.
  • It envisages diversion of 634 cubic millimeters of water from the Pamba and Achankovil rivers in Kerala to the Vaippar basin in Tamil Nadu.
  • The project envisages irrigation of 91,400 hectares in Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, generation of 500 MW and regulated release of water during lean periods to Kerala.

Inter-linking of Rivers in India:

  • The National Perspective Plan (NPP) was prepared by the then Ministry of Irrigation, now Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) in August 1980 for water resources development through the inter-basin transfer of water, for transferring water from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins.
  • Since the 1980s, the interlinking project has been managed by India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA) under the Ministry of Water Resources. It has been split into three parts:
    • A northern Himalayan rivers interlink component.
    • A southern peninsular component.
    • An intra-State rivers linking component.
  • The interlinking project aims to link India’s rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals that will allow for their water capacities to be shared and redistributed.
  • Under the NPP, the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 links (16 under Peninsular Component & 14 under Himalayan Component).

2. Collegium is a victim of its own birth pangs, says Justice D.Y. Chandrachud

Context:

Supreme Court judge, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, said the Collegium for the appointment of judges was a “victim of its own birth pangs”. “Knowledge is a powerful instrument which secures consistency in application and generates the confidence that is essential to the sanctity of the process of judicial appointments. This is essentially because the Collegium system postulates that proposals for the appointment of judges are initiated by the judges themselves,” Justice Chandrachud said. The observations came in the Supreme Court judge’s separate but concurrent opinion that the Office of the Chief Justice of India came within the ambit of the RTI Act.

Details:

  • In what may be a strident call for change from within the highest judiciary, Justice Chandrachud said that the Collegium system does indeed suggest the notion that judges are appointing judges.
    • Justice Chandrachud, who was part of a Constitution Bench, said it was true that the citizens were bereft of information about how their judges were appointed.
    • He said there was a vital element of public interest in knowing about the norms which were taken into consideration for making judicial appointments.
    • He said it was time the “substantive standards” for choosing judges were formulated and placed in the public realm to “promote confidence in the appointments’ process”.
    • He said the various standards followed by the Collegium for judicial appointments which should be put in the public domain included the performance of the candidate as a lawyer and domain specialisation to income requirements and commitment to the legal field to social orientation.
    • He observed that judicial appointments should reflect the promotion of the judiciary as an inclusive institution, with diversity in terms of gender, representation to minorities and the marginalised, orientation and other relevant factors.

The issue on “The office of CJI falling under the ambit of RTI” has been comprehensively covered in today’s Comprehensive News Analysis, under the Editorials Segment.

To know more about the Collegium System of Appointment of Judges, Click Here.

3. Amended Finance Act: Supreme Court strikes down rules on tribunal postings

Context:

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has struck down in entirety, rules framed by the government under the Finance Act of 2017 to alter the appointments to 19 key judicial tribunals, including the Central Administrative Tribunal.

Background:

  • The provisions of the amended Finance Act 2017, had changed the structure and powers of various judicial tribunals.
  • The new rules, under Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017, under Section 184 of the Finance Act, had placed the quasi-judicial bodies under the Centre’s control.
  • The tribunals had been placed under the very ministries against which they were to pass orders.
  • It had allowed the central government to specify the appointments, tenure, removal, and reappointment of chairpersons and members of Tribunals through Rules.
  • The petitioners had pleaded that the passing of the Finance Act as a Money Bill was wrong, and provisions in it would adversely affect the functioning and independence of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Issues:

  • Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies that are headed by a senior member of the judiciary, such as a judge of the Supreme Court or Chief Justice of a High Court. There could be a conflict of interest if the government were to be a litigant before a Tribunal, while also determining the appointment of its members and presiding officer.
  • Tribunals affected by the Finance Bill included those before which the central government could be a party to disputes — such as those related to Income Tax, Railways, administrative matters, and the Armed Forces Tribunal.
  • In 2014, the Supreme Court, while examining provisions related to the National Tax Tribunal, had held that Appellate Tribunals have powers and functions similar to that of High Courts, and hence matters related to the appointment and reappointment of their members must be free from executive involvement.
  • The amendments to the Finance Bill 2017 also had replaced certain existing Tribunals and had transferred their functions to other Tribunals. The rationale for the overhaul was, however, not stated.

Details:

  • The Bench, led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, held that the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017 suffered from various infirmities.
  • The court has directed the government to frame fresh rules for the appointment of members to various tribunals.
  • Till the new rules are formulated, the appointments will be as per existing laws, and not under the Finance Act 2017.
  • In the majority opinion, Chief Justice referred to the issue and the question of whether the 2017 Act could have been passed as a money bill to a larger Bench.
  • The court said a seven-judge Bench should also decide the question of whether the Lok Sabha Speaker acted in the right by certifying it as a money bill, thus allowing it to circumvent Rajya Sabha.

Money Bill:

  • Money Bill is defined in Article 110 of the Indian Constitution.
  • Money bills are those which exclusively contain provisions for the imposition of taxes and appropriation of funds out of the Consolidated Fund of India.

To read more about Money Bill, Click here.

Category: HEALTH

1. WHO initiative to boost insulin access

Context:

The World Health Organization has said that it has begun an initiative that would cut prices and dramatically increase insulin access for diabetics.

Concerns:

  • Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death and a major cause of debilitating complications like heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and lower-limb amputations.
  • The UN health agency voiced alarm ahead of World Diabetes Day at the soaring prevalence of diabetes in the world, with nearly three times more diabetics today than 35 years ago. Diabetes is on the rise globally and rising faster in low-income countries.
  • There are currently more than 420 million diabetic adults in the world, up from 180 million in 1980, WHO statistics show.

Details:

  • Too many people who need insulin encounter financial hardship in accessing it, or go without it and risk their lives.
    • WHO’s prequalification initiative for insulin is a vital step towards ensuring everyone who needs this life-saving product can access it.
    • The initiative involves the evaluation of insulin developed by manufacturers to ensure their quality, safety, efficacy and affordability.

Diabetes:

  • Diabetes is a kind of metabolic ailment in which the body is incapable of producing insulin, leading to high blood glucose in the body leading cardiovascular diseases, kidney ailments, eye problems, etc.

There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes used to be called juvenile-onset diabetes. It is usually caused by an auto-immune reaction where the body’s defence system attacks the cells that produce insulin.
  • People with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin.
  • The disease may affect people of any age but usually develops in children or young adults.
  • People with this form of diabetes need injections of insulin every day in order to control the levels of glucose in their blood.

Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes, and accounts for at least 90% of all cases of diabetes.
  • It is characterised by insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency, either or both of which may be present at the time diabetes is diagnosed.
  • The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can occur at any age.
  • Type 2 diabetes may remain undetected for many years and the diagnosis is often made when a complication appears or a routine blood or urine glucose test is done.
  • It is often, but not always, associated with overweight or obesity, which itself can cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood glucose levels.

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are serious. There is no such thing as mild diabetes.

Gestational diabetes:

  • Gestational Diabetes (GDM) is a form of diabetes consisting of high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
  • It develops in one in 25 pregnancies worldwide and is associated with complications to both mother and baby.
  • GDM usually disappears after pregnancy but women with GDM and their children are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Approximately half of women with a history of GDM go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five to ten years after delivery.

C. GS 3 Related

Category: ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY

1. Climate change is harming health of children, says Lancet report

Context:

According to a major new report published in The Lancet, climate change is already damaging the health of the world’s children and is set to endanger the well-being of an entire generation, unless the world meets the target to limit warming to well below 2°C.

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change:

  • ‘The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change’ is a comprehensive yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators.
  • The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions, including the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, University College London, and the Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Concerns:

  • The report notes that as temperatures rise, infants will bear the greatest burden of malnutrition and rising food prices — average yield potential of maize and rice has declined almost 2% in India since the 1960s, with malnutrition already responsible for two-thirds of the deaths of children under five years.
  • Also, children will suffer most from the rise in infectious diseases — with climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera rising 3% a year in India since the early 1980s, the study warns.
  • With its huge population and high rates of healthcare inequality, poverty and malnutrition, few countries are likely to suffer from the health effects of climate change as much as India.
  • It is believed that diarrhoeal infections, a major cause of child mortality, will spread into new areas, whilst deadly heatwaves could soon become the norm.
  • Over the past two decades, the government of India has launched many initiatives and programmes to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. But this report shows that the public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate.

2. They save people from cyclones, but who is saving the Sunderbans mangroves?

Issue:

  • The Sundarbans absorbed the fury of the cyclone to save West Bengal and Bangladesh but was badly damaged in the process.
  • Wildlife experts and local NGOs have been highlighting the constant degradation of the mangrove forest in the Sunderbans, particularly in areas that are inhabited.
  • The latest example of an assault on mangrove forests came to light in an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), when it directed a committee to inspect allegations levelled by an environmental activist that the State had allocated houses under the ‘Banglar Abas’ scheme by clearing acres of mangrove forest on Sagar island.

Sundarban mangroves:

  • The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987.
  • The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes.
  • The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

Importance of mangroves:

  • They stabilize the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides.
  • Play an invaluable role as nature’s shield against cyclones, ecological disasters and as protector of shorelines.
  • They prevent coastal soil erosion.
  • Provide a safe and favourable environment for breeding, spawning, rearing of several fishes.

Mangroves help buffer against nature’s harsh elements, particularly in relation to the communities of the Sundarbans, efforts are needed to assess the damage and conserve the mangroves.

D.GS 4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: GOVERNANCE

1. CJI’s Office to Come Under RTI Ambit, Rules SC

Context

  • A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi have ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and upheld a Delhi High Court ruling of 2010.
    • Other members of the bench included Justices NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

Background

  • The judgment pertained to three cases based on requests for information filed by Delhi-based RTI activist Subhash Agarwal, all of which eventually reached the Supreme Court.
    • In one of these, Agarwal had asked whether all Supreme Court judges had declared their assets and liabilities to the CJI following a resolution passed in 1997.
  • While the CPIO (Central Public Information Officer) of the Supreme Court said the office of the CJI was not a public authority under the RTI Act, the matter reached the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) where a full Bench, headed by then CIC in 2009 directed disclosure of information.
  • The Supreme Court approached the Delhi High Court against the CIC order. High Court Justice Ravindra Bhatt held in 2009 that “the office of the Chief Justice of India is a public authority under the RTI Act and is covered by its provisions”.
  • The Supreme Court then approached a larger Bench comprising the then Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Ajit Prakash Shah, Justice Vikramjit Sen, and Justice S Muralidhar, which passed its judgment in 2010 holding that the judgment of Justice Bhatt was “both proper and valid and needs no interference”.

SC plea to SC, about SC

  • The Supreme Court in 2010 petitioned itself challenging the Delhi High Court order. The matter was placed before a Division Bench, which decided that it should be heard by a Constitution Bench.
  • As the setting up of the Constitution Bench remained pending, Agarwal filed another RTI application. The Supreme Court told him that orders for constituting the Bench “are awaited”.
  • CJI Gogoi in 2018 constituted the Bench.

What did the SC say?

  • The main judgment of the Constitution Bench authored by Justice Sanjiv Khanna said the Supreme Court is a ‘public authority’ and the office of the CJI is part and parcel of the institution. Hence, if the Supreme Court is a public authority, so is the office of the CJI.
  • Justice Ramana noted that Right to Privacy is an important aspect and has to be balanced with transparency while deciding to give out information from the office of the Chief Justice of India.
    • While ruling that the office of the CJI is a public authority, the Supreme Court held that RTI cannot be used as a tool of surveillance and that judicial independence has to be kept in mind while dealing with transparency.
  • Justice Chandrachud wrote in his separate judgment that the judiciary cannot function in total insulation as judges enjoy a constitutional post and discharge public duty.
    • “Judicial independence is not secured by the secrecy of cloistered halls”.
  • The Bench, however, agreed, in one voice, that the right to know under RTI was not absolute. The right to know of a citizen ought to be balanced with the right to privacy of individual judges.

What the order means?

  • The outcome is that the office of the CJI will now entertain RTI applications.
  • Under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, information means “any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force”.
  • Whether a public authority discloses the information sought or not, however, is a different matter. Offices such as those of the Prime Minister and the President too are public authorities under the RTI Act.
  • But public authorities have often denied information quoting separate observations by the Supreme Court itself in 2011: “Officials need to furnish only such information which already exists and is held by the public authority and not collate or create information”; and, “the nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties”.

Issue Area

  • The ruling allows for an ordinary citizen to seek information on appointments, transfers of judges to the high courts and Supreme Court but the reasons behind these recommendations could still be clouded in secrecy as the decisions of the collegium are largely based on reports of the Intelligence Bureau which is exempted from providing information under RTI.

Conclusion

  • For an institution that has insulated itself from public scrutiny and one that gives little insight into its own functioning, the verdict pushes the envelope on greater judicial accountability.

2. A balancing act

Click here to read about the topic

Category: POLITY

1. SC Upholds Disqualification of 17 MLAs

Context

  • The Supreme Court upheld the disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs on the orders of the then Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar but allowed their plea to contest the by-election to be held in December for the seats that fell vacant in July.

Background

  • The Speaker had disqualified these MLAs from the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in July 2019 under the Tenth Schedule, or the anti-defection law, and also barred from contesting elections during the tenure of the current Assembly.
  • The lawmakers had quit the Assembly as part of an attempt to topple the government.
  • The MLAs had stayed away from a trust vote, defying their party whips, leading to the collapse of the HD Kumaraswamy-led Congress-JDS government.

To read more about Ant Defection law here: Click here

Details

  • A three-judge bench of justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari held that the Speaker does not have the power to prescribe the period of disqualification. The Speaker had disqualified the MLAs till the end of the term of the house that is, till 2023.
    • A Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana said in a judgment “Neither under the Constitution nor under the statutory scheme it is contemplated that disqualification under the Tenth Schedule would operate as a bar for contesting re-elections.”
    • The Court said Section 36 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, does not contemplate such disqualification.
    • In the earlier Constitution Bench judgment of Kihoto Hollohan (supra), the order of the Speaker under Tenth Schedule can be subject to judicial review on four grounds:
      • Mala fide,
      • perversity,
      • violation of the constitutional mandate,
      • Order passed in violation of natural justice.
    • The court rejected the MLAs’ contention that their disqualification was invalid as they had tendered their resignations.
      • The court noted that it would defeat the purpose of the Tenth Schedule if it was held that disqualification proceedings would become infructuous upon tendering resignation.

Supreme Court on Right to Resign

  • The court upheld the MLAs’ submission that they had a right to resign.
    • “A member may choose to resign for a variety of reasons and his reasons may be good or bad but it is his sole prerogative to resign. An elected member cannot be compelled to continue his office if he chooses to resign,” the judgment observed.
  • Under Article 190(3), a provision under which the Speaker has to ascertain the “voluntary” and “genuine” nature of a resignation before accepting it, the court is clear that it is a limited inquiry, only to see if the letter is authentic and if the intent to quit is based on free will.
    • “Once it is demonstrated that a member is willing to resign out of his free will, the Speaker has no option but to accept the resignation,” the court has said.
  • This effectively ends the argument that the Speaker is empowered to consider the motives and circumstances whenever a resignation is submitted.

What does this mean for the disqualified MLAs?

  • In short, the court has, with this judgment, paved the way for the ousted legislators to contest the coming by-polls in December.

Way forward

  • We need to keep in mind that the separating line between dissent and defection requires to be made apparent, so that values are upheld in balance with other constitutional considerations.
  • Identifying the weak aspects of the anti-defection law and strengthening the law may be the answer.

Conclusion

  • The verdict bemoans the fact that Speakers sometimes tend not to be neutral, and that change of loyalty for the lure of office continues despite the anti-defection law.
  • Reflecting on Indian parliamentary democracy, the words of André Béteille, Professor Emeritus of Sociology need to be observed: “In a parliamentary democracy, the obligations of constitutional morality are expected to be equally binding on the government and the opposition. In India, the same political party treats these obligations very differently when it is in office and when it is out of it. This has contributed greatly to the popular perception of our political system as being amoral…”

Category: ECONOMY

1. Gloom deepens: On shrinking industrial output

Meaning

  • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index which shows the growth rates in different industry groups of the economy in a stipulated period of time.
  • IIP is a composite indicator that measures the growth rate of industry groups classified under,
    • Broad sectors, namely, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity
      • First is manufacturing with a weight of 77.6 per cent
      • Second is mining with a weight of 14.4 per cent
      • Third is electricity with a weight of 8 per cent.
    • Use-based sectors, namely Basic Goods, Capital Goods and Intermediate Goods.
  • It maps the change in the volume of production in Indian industries.
  • IIP index is currently calculated using 2011-2012 as the base year.
  • In the case of Index of Industrial Production India, IIP data is compiled and published by CSO every month. CSO or Central Statistical Organisation operates under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

Who uses IIP data?

  • The factory production data (IIP) is used by various government agencies such as the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), private firms and analysts, among others for analytical purposes.
  • The data is also used to compile the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the manufacturing sector in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a quarterly basis.

Context

Details

  • The latest Index of Industrial Production (IIP) estimates from the NSO show that output shrank by 4.3% in September 2019, with all three component sectors in the index — manufacturing, mining and electricity — posting contractions.
    • This was the sharpest contraction in output since at least April 2012, before which the data was referenced to a different base year.
  • Also, five of the six categories on the IIP’s use-based classification of goods registered declines, with only intermediate goods bucking the trend.
    • Disturbingly the prolonged slump in the output of capital goods, a proxy for investment activity by businesses, extended into a ninth straight month as production contracted by about 21% for the second month in a row.
    • Consumer durables also posted a fourth straight contraction, with the 9.9% decline appearing in stark contrast to September 2018’s 5.4% growth.
    • The second successive shrinkage in infrastructure and construction goods — it shrank 6.4% — reflects the challenges besetting the two eponymous primary sectors.
  • Clearly, manufacturers of white goods are struggling to find demand for their wares.
  • From an industry perspective, 17 of the 23 industry groups that comprise the manufacturing sector contracted.
    • And leading the slump, predictably, was the motor vehicles industry, which posted a 25% contraction.
  • The survey-based Purchasing Managers’ Index revealed continuing manufacturing sector weakness in October 2019 as weakening demand hurt new orders and business sentiment.

IIP Graph

Way forward

  • All signs now point to the central bank cutting interest rates again at its next meeting, in order to help spur a revival.

F. Tidbits

1. Gold is third-most popular investment

What’s in News?

The Retail Gold Insights 2019 report by the World Gold Council has said that Gold is the third-most popular investment among retail investors.

  • According to the latest consumer survey by the World Gold Council, people have confidence in the investment potential of gold but there are certain elements of mistrust that are acting as a barrier even as it is the third-most popular investment choice among retail investors.
  • The study also found that more than two-thirds of retail investors believed gold was a good safeguard against inflation and currency fluctuation and that it would not lose its value in the long term.

World Gold Council (WGC):

  • The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry.
  • It works across all parts of the industry, from gold mining to investment, and their aim is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold.
  • The Council frequently publishes research that demonstrates gold’s strength as a preserver of wealth – both for investors and countries.
  • They also provide analysis of the industry, offering insights into the drivers of gold demand.
  • They have also launched various products such as SPDR GLD and gold accumulation plans in India and China.
    • SPDR Gold Shares (also known as SPDR Gold Trust) is part of the SPDR family of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) managed and marketed by State Street Global Advisors.
    • For a few years, the fund was the second-largest exchange-traded fund in the world, and it was briefly the largest.
  • It helps to support its members to mine in a responsible way and developed the Conflict Free Gold Standard.
  • It is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

G. Prelims Facts

1. Retail Inflation

What’s in News?

  • Retail inflation climbed to a 16-month high of 4.62% in October, driven by food inflation.
  • The inflation level has breached the 4% benchmark, set by the RBI and the Finance Ministry till 2021.
  • It, however, still remains within the upper limit of 6%.

What is Retail Inflation?

  • Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) captures retail inflation.
  • In India, retail inflation is linked to Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is released by the Central Statistics Office of the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation.
  • CPI numbers are widely used as a macroeconomic indicator of inflation, as a tool by governments and central banks.

H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions

Q1. Consider the following statements:
  1. Money Bill is not defined in the Indian Constitution.
  2. All finance bills are money bills.
  3. A money bill does not provide for Imposition, abolition, remission, alteration or regulation of any tax by any local authority or body for local purposes.

Choose the incorrect option:

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

See
Answer
Q2. Consider the following statements:
  1. Sundarbans is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  2. Sudarban Mangroves are classified as tidal halophytic mangrove forests.
  3. Sudarban Mangroves are located in the delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins.

Choose the correct option:

a. 1 only
b. 1 and 2 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

See
Answer
Q3. Which of the following DO NOT come under the ambit of Right To Information Act:
  1. Chief Justice of India
  2. Political Parties
  3. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
  4. National Investigation Agency (NIA)

Choose the correct option:

a. 1 and 2 only
b. 2 and 4 only
c. 2, 3 and 4 only
d. 3 and 4 only

See
Answer
Q4. Consider the following statements:
  1. Poorna Swaraj Resolution was passed in the INC Lahore session of 1929.
  2. It was in the Lahore session of 1929 that Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as Congress President for the first time.

Choose the correct option.

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

See
Answer

I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

  1. The river-linking project is a great challenge and an opportunity to address the water issues arising out of climate change. Critically comment. (15 Marks, 250 Words)
  2. Chief Justice of India’s office under the ambit of the Right To Information (RTI) Act should be an instrument of transparency and not a tool of surveillance. Comment. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

14th Nov 2019 CNA:- Download PDF Here

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