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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 01-02-2021

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February 01, 2021

STARS Project

  • Ministry of Education, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), and World Bank have signed an agreement for the financial support towards the implementation of the STARS project.
  • [STARS - Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States.]
  • The proposed World Bank support is primarily in the form of a results-based financing instrument called Program for Results (PforR).
  • This will ensure major reforms at the state-level through a set of disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs).
  • STARS project will cover six states including Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, and Odisha.
  • It will improve the quality of education for the identified states.
  • It aims at improving the overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian school education system in selected states.
  • It will draw on the existing structure under Samagra Shiksha.
  • At the state level, the project will be implemented through the integrated State Implementation Society (SIS) for Samagra Shiksha.
  • A State Incentive Grant (SIG) will encourage states to meet desired project outcomes.
  • The SIG matrix has been aligned with the intermediate outcome indicators as per the requirement of PforR.
  • An independent verification agency (IVA) will verify each result before disbursement of funds. To know more about STARS Project, click here.

Global Climate Risk Index 2021

  • India was ranked the 7th worst-hit country in 2019 in this index, released by environmental think tank Germanwatch.
  • This Index ranked countries according to their vulnerability to extreme weather events like storms, floods and heat waves.
  • Eight of the 10 countries most affected between 2000 and 2019 were developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.
  • It said that the vulnerable people in developing countries suffered most from extreme weather events, whereas the impact of climate change was visible around the globe.
  • It pushes for the need to support developing countries in coping with the effects of climate change.

Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index

  • India ranked 10th out of 11 in this newly-launched health index, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • It measures the progress of 11 Asia Pacific countries across the region towards personalised healthcare.
  • [Countries - Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand.]
  • It measures their readiness in adopting personalised healthcare, enabling the right care to be tailored to the right person at the right time.
  • It measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called ''Vital Signs''. These include,
    1. Policy Context indicator takes into account the polities, frameworks, partnerships, people and drivers that will facilitate personalised healthcare.
    2. Health Information indicator takes into account data, infrastructure and technical expertise driving personalised healthcare.
    3. Personalised Technologies indicator takes into account the devices, applications, platforms and reimbursement structures that will drive personalised healthcare based on stakeholders’ needs. 
    4. Health Services indicator takes into account planning, organisation and delivery of services with respect to personalised healthcare.

Judicial Appointments

  • The Supreme Court urged the central government to set a fixed timeline for clearing appointments of judges to the apex court and the high courts, after receiving the recommendations of the collegium.
  • [For Supreme Court, the collegium comprises the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and four other most senior Supreme Court judges.
  • For High Court, the collegium comprises the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and two other most senior Supreme Court judges.]
  • This ruling was given taking a grim view of the situation where some proposals about appointments remain pending before the government.
  • The SC called it is a matter of great concern as there was no comments for five months on a collegium recommendation from the Centre.
  • In 2015, the top court struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act and the 99th Constitutional Amendment, which sought to give the executive a say in the appointment of judges.
  • This judgment had held that judicial appointments will be carried on by the recommendations of the collegium.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana

  • The Economic Survey says that Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) has total estimated outlay of Rs 22,810 crore for the scheme period i.e., up to wage month 31st May, 2023.
  • The scheme provides subsidy for two years in respect of new employees engaged on or after 1st October, 2020 and up to 30th June, 2021.
  • It will pay 12% employees' contribution and 12% employers' contribution of wages towards EPF in respect of new employees in establishments employing upto 1000 employees for 2 years.
  • It will pay only employees' share of EPF contribution i.e. 12% of wages in respect of new employees in establishments employing more than 1000 employee for two years.
  • The same payment will be made to the establishments that would re-employee who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
  • To know more about Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana, click here.

Social Stock Exchange

  • The Economic Survey 2021 highlighted the need to set up a Social Stock Exchange (SSE).
  • SSE will be set up as a structure within the existing stock market ecosystem under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • It would raise capital by organisations working for the realisation of a social welfare objective.
  • SEBI made recommendations to include participation of non-profit organisations (NPO) and for-profit enterprises (FPE) on SSE subject to committing to minimum reporting requirements.
  • It recommended standardisation of financial reporting by NPOs on SSE.
  • To know more about Social Stock Exchange, click here.

Green Bonds

  • Green bonds are debt instruments issued by an entity for raising funds from investors and the proceeds of a green bond offering are used towards financing ‘green’ projects.
  • In 2017, SEBI issued guidelines on green bonds including listing of green bonds on the Indian stock exchanges.
  • The launch of green indices such as S&P BSE CARBONEX (2012), MSCI ESG India (2013), and S&P BSE 100 ESG Index (2017) allows passive and retail investors to invest in green companies.
  • These bonds are often unpredictable, and, at times, unreliable.

 

Source: PIB, The Indian Express, Frontline, Hindustan Times, Outlook India, Down To Earth

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