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Prelim Bits 28-02-2019

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February 28, 2019

Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills

  • It was launched by the Minister of Human Resource and Development.
  • It is to provide industry apprenticeship opportunities to graduates in non-technical fields, passing out from the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).
  • The objective is to enhance the employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on-job work exposure’ and stipend.
  • It is a program basket comprising the initiatives of three Central Ministries,
  1. Ministry of Human Resource Development-  introduction of BA/BSc/BCom (Professional) courses in the higher educational institutions
  2. Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship - National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS)
  3. Ministry of Labor& Employment-  National Career Service (NCS)
  • The primary scheme will be operated in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).
  • The scheme will be implemented by the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs).
  • The SHREYAS portal will enable educational institutions to log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship.

Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT)

  • It is an initiative aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation.
  • It is a developmental effort that would benefit vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas production plants are set up under the initiative by inviting Expression of Interest from potential entrepreneurs.
  • It has a four-pronged agenda of
  1. utilising more than 62 million metric tonnes of waste generated every year in India
  2. cutting down import dependence
  3. supplementing job creation in the country
  4.  reducing vehicular emissions and pollution from burning of agricultural / organic waste.
  • Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste / bio-mass sources.
  • The wastes are agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste, sewage treatment plant waste, etc.

Tree cover and Forest Cover

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change defines ‘forest cover’ in India as “all lands, more than one hectare in area with a tree canopy density of more than 10%
  • Similarly ‘tree cover’ is defined as “tree patches outside recorded forest areas exclusive of forest cover and less than the minimum mappable area of 1 hectare”.

  • There is a third measure known as Tree outside forest (TOF).
  • The ‘India State of Forest Report 2017’ defines TOF as “trees existing outside the recorded forest area in the form of block, linear & scattered size of patches”.
  • Since tree cover measures only non-forest patches that are less than 1 hectare, it is only a part of TOF.

Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) Framework

  • Reserve Bank of India took 3 more commercial banks out of the prompt corrective action (PCA) framework.
  • It is a framework under which banks with weak financial metrics are put under watch by the RBI.
  • Banks are monitored under the three parameters
  1. capital ratios
  2. asset quality
  3.  profitability
  • It has three risk threshold levels (1 being the lowest and 3 the highest) based on where a bank stands on these ratios.
  • It is intended to help alert the regulator as well as investors and depositors if a bank is heading for trouble.

Arabian Desert

  • The Arabian Desert is the largest desert of Asia and covers a major portion of Arabian Peninsula.
  • The largest part of the desert lies in Saudi Arabia.
  • It also covers neighboring countries such as Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq and Jordan
  • Rub’al-Khali, which makes up the most part of this desert, is the largest continuous area of sand in the world.
  • Numerous desert insects, including mosquitoes, fleas, ants, termites, beetles, locusts, spiders, butterflies and caterpillars dominate the landscape.


  • It is popular local traditional brew (liquor) distilled from the cashew fruit.
  • Cashew feni was given the Geographical Indication tag as manufactured goods.
  • The name feni is derived from Sanskrit word ‘phena’ meaning froth or foam.
  • It is also distilled from fermented toddy from coconut palm.
  • It is prepared in a typical Portuguese way that does not entail the use of electricity in the process.


Source: PIB, The Hindu, Business Standard

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