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Prelim Bits 24-11-2022 | UPSC Daily Current Affairs

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November 24, 2022

Director General of Audit

Tamil Nadu was the first State to create the role of Director General of Audit to oversee all audit departments.

  • The Director General of Audit (DGA) is responsible to strengthen and streamline the functioning of internal audit departments.
  • The post of DGA was created to provide independence to internal audit departments, which were earlier working under the department they had to audit.
  • Appointment - The DGA can be appointed through 3 different ways –
  1. Indian Audit and Accounts Service (on deputation).
  2. Indian Administrative Service belonging to Tamil Nadu cadre.
  3. Through lateral entry system by selecting a person experienced in the public sector or private sector audit from the open market.
  • At present, the DGA appointed is from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (on deputation).
  • Functions - The DGA will exercise general supervision and control over the audit directorates.
  • This includes the audit departments under the administrative control of the Finance Department.
  • The staff of the five audit directorates should report to the DGA.
  • The power to approve audit reports is currently vested with the directors concerned and will continue to rest with them.
  • However, the DGA has the power to review the reports.
  • Other Powers - All proposals to the government on postings, transfers, other establishment matters, and budget and Assembly-related matters will be routed through the DGA.
  • The DGA has the power to invite a private audit firm to do a special audit of any organisation under its audit jurisdiction.

References

  1. The Hindu - T.N. first State to have Director General of Audit
  2. New Indian Express - TN has created Director General of Audit post

Nyingma Sect

The Nyingma sect has identified a boy from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh as the reincarnation of the late Taklung Setrung Rinpoche.

  • The Nyingma sect is the oldest of all Buddhist sects in Tibet.
  • Nyingma sect second largest out of the 4 Buddhist sects in Tibet.
  • The sect emphasizes the mystical aspects of the Vajrayana tradition.
  • They closely follow Padmasambhava’s teachings, emphasizing Tantric ritual, worship, and Yoga.
  • Guru Padmasambhava is the founder of the Nyingma Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, who came to Tibet in the 8th century C.E.
  • The followers of the sect are spread across Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Sikkim and other Himalayan Buddhist pockets.

The 4 schools of Tibetan Buddhism are Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, and Gelug or Gelugpa.

Taklung Setrung Rinpoche

  • Taklung Setrung Rinpoche was a profound scholar renowned for his expertise in Tibetan Tantric School.
  • The Rinpoche used to live in the Takthok monastery of Ladakh, one of the oldest monasteries related to the Nyingma sect.
  • The Rinpoche was widely consulted by the followers of the faith.

References

  1. The Hindu - Nyingma sect finds ‘reincarnation’ of famous Rinpoche
  2. Britannica - Rnying-ma-pa: Tibetan Buddhist sect

Agni-3 Missile

India successfully test-fires intermediate range ballistic Agni-3 missile.

  • Agni-3 missile had a successful training launch from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha.
  • Training launches are usually conducted by the Strategic Forces Command.

Strategic Forces Command is part of India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) of India, which is responsible for all command, control, and operational decisions relating to its nuclear-weapons capability.

  • Agni-3 was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Agni-3 is a nuclear capable Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM).
  • It is a two-stage solid propellant surface-to-surface missile.
  • It has a range of over 3500 km and is capable of carrying a payload of over 1.5 tonnes.
  • The Agni-3 missile was test fired successfully in its second flight in 2007 and then at its third consecutive launch in 2008.
  • Other Agni Series Missiles - Agni-4 Missile, Agni-5 Missile 

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References

  1. PIB - India carries out successful training launch
  2. The Hindu - India test fires Agni-3
  3. Indian Express - India test-fires Agni-3 missile

Five Deadliest Bacteria of 2019

According to The Lancet study, five bacteria types caused nearly 6.8 lakh deaths in India in 2019.

E. coli, S. pneumoniae, K. pneumoniae, S. aureus and A. baumanii are the top 5 deadliest bacterial pathogens.

  • The study shows, five bacteria alone are connected to more than half of all deaths (77 lakh) in 2019.
  • In India alone, 6.8 lakh deaths were caused by the 5 bacterial pathogens.
  • The deadliest bacterial pathogens and types of infection varied by location and age.

Common bacterial infections were the second-leading cause of death in 2019, and were linked to one in eight deaths globally.

Bacteria

Normal Presence

Disease

Escherichia coli (E. coli)

The gram-negative bacteria is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms.

Most E.coli strains are harmless, but some strains such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) can cause can cause severe foodborne disease.

Streptococcus pneumoniae

It is an encapsulated gram-negative bacteria with a polysaccharide capsule an essential factor in virulence.

Serious pneumococcal infections include pneumonia, meningitis and febrile bacteraemia

Klebsiella pneumoniae

Occurs in soil and water and on plants, and some strains are found in human gastrointestinal tract.

A pathogen of the human respiratory system that causes lethal pneumonia in persons with underlying medical problems.

Staphylococcus aureus

The gram-positive bacteria frequently found in the upper respiratory tract and on the skin.

It may lead to abscessing infections of the skin, eyes and genital tract and can become life threatening to immunocompromised or immunodeficient individuals.

Acinetobacter baumannii

The opportunistic gram-negative pathogen are found in soil, water and sometimes on the skin of healthy people.

They are generally harmless to healthy individuals but can cause serious infections in critically ill hospital patients.

It infiltrates open wounds, catheters, and ventilation tubes and causes fatal meningitis, bacteraemia and pneumonia.

References

  1. The Hindu - Five deadliest bacteria types in 2019: Study
  2. WHO – E.coli
  3. Britannica - pneumococcus bacteria
  4. Science Direct - Acinetobacter Baumannii

Loan Write-off

The Reserve Bank of India data shows that banks wrote off more than Rs 10 lakh crore in loans over the last five years.

  • Write-off is a method followed by banks (lenders) to reduce the burden of non-performing assets (NPAs).
  • This is a common practice used by lenders to clean up their balance sheet from NPAs.
  • Writing-off a loan essentially means it will no longer be counted as an asset.

If the principal or interest payment for a loan has not been paid for over 3 months, the loan account is termed as Non-Performing Asset.

  • Reasons to write-off loans - The bank writes off a loan after the borrower has defaulted on the loan repayment and there is a very low chance of recovery.
  • The lender then moves the defaulted loan (NPA), out of the assets side and reports the amount as a loss.
  • By writing-off loans, a bank can reduce the level of NPAs on its books.
  • The amount thus written off reduces the bank’s tax liability since the written off amount is allowed to be deducted from profit before tax.
  • After write-off – Write-offs are not waivers and the borrower is still liable to repay the loan.
  • The banks will continue to recover the loan using various options like  
  • The lender has the right to seize and auction the collateral pledged to recover the repayment amount.
  • They make provisioning for the written-off loans as well.

Loan waive-off would mean that the loan is considered to be completely cancelled and the borrower no longer holds the liability of the loan.

References

  1. Indian Express - Why do banks do Loan write off?
  2. Deccan Herald – RBI Report on written off loans in 5 years
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