1) Consider the following statements regarding Atal Pension Yojana
I) Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account holders who are citizens of India
II) The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and there is no maximum age
Choose the correct option from the codes below
a) Only I
b) Only II
c) Both I & II
d) Neither I nor II
• Easy to Explain Benefits drive Atal Pension Yojana (APY) backed by Government of India’s Guarantee.
• Atal Pension Yojana (APY) addresses the old age income security of the working poor and the longevity risks among the workers in unorganised sector.
• It encourages the workers in unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement.
• The Government had launched the scheme with effect from 1st June, 2015.
• The scheme replaces the Swavalamban Yojana / NPS Lite scheme.
• Benefits of APY:
o Fixed pension for the subscribers ranging between Rs.1000 to Rs. 5000, if s/he joins and contributes between the age of 18 years and 40 years.
o The same pension is payable to Spouse after death of Subscriber.
o Return of indicative pension wealth to nominees after death of spouse.
o Contributions to the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is eligible for tax benefits similar to the National Pension System (NPS). The tax benefits include the additional deduction of Rs 50,000 under section 80CCD(1).
o Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account holders who are not members of any statutory social security scheme.
o Any individual who is eligible to receive benefits under the APY will have to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo enrolment under Aadhaar authentication.
o An APY subscriber will have to get the Aadhaar number recorded in his or her APY pension account and also in his/ her savings account where the periodic pension contribution instalments are debited and government co-contribution is to be credited.
• Age of joining:
o The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years.
2) Choose the correct statement/(s) about “Ease of Doing Business Index” from below
I) According to the 2019 rankings, India is the only country to rank among the top 10 improvers for the second consecutive year.
II) India has taken a huge leap of 23 ranks from 100 in 2017-18 to 77 in 2018-19.
Identify the correct options
a) Only I
b) Only II
c) Both I & II
d) Neither I nor II
• India Surges 23 Ranks in ease of doing Business with port-led Development under Sagarmala Improving ‘Trading Across Border’.
• As per the World Bank report 2019 on Ease of Doing Business, India has taken a huge leap of 23 ranks from 100 in 2017-18 to 77 in 2018-19 indicating it is continuing its steady shift towards global standards.
• One of the key indices which has contributed immensely toward this growth is ‘Trading across borders’ which shows an impressive improvement from 146 rank last year to 80th rank this year.
• The Ministry of Shipping has been taking initiatives to improve the parameter of ‘Trading across border’ as 92% of India’s Export- Import trade by volume is handled at ports.
• Factors that contributed for improvement:
o Upgradation of port infrastructure.
o Improvement of processes.
o Digitization of document submission.
• All the above mentioned factors has significantly contributed towards improving the trading across border parameter and India’s impressive growth in the World Bank’s report.
• According to the 2019 rankings India become the only country to rank among the top 10 improvers for the second consecutive year.
• The World Bank has recognized India as one of the top improvers for the year.
3) Which of the following are included in the components of Sagarmala?
I) Port Modernization & New Port Development
II) Port Connectivity Enhancement
III) Coastal Community Development
IV) Port-linked Industrialization
Choose the correct codes from below
a) Only I, II & III
b) Only I, III & IV
c) Only I, II & IV
d) All of the above
• Vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment. This includes:
o Reducing cost of transporting domestic cargo through optimizing modal mix
o Lowering logistics cost of bulk commodities by locating future industrial capacities near the coast
o Improving export competitiveness by developing port proximate discrete manufacturing clusters
o Optimizing time/cost of EXIM container movement
• Components of Sagarmala Programme are:
o Port Modernization & New Port Development: De-bottlenecking and capacity expansion of existing ports and development of new greenfield ports
o Port Connectivity Enhancement: Enhancing the connectivity of the ports to the hinterland, optimizing cost and time of cargo movement through multi-modal logistics solutions including domestic waterways (inland water transport and coastal shipping)
o Port-linked Industrialization: Developing port-proximate industrial clusters and Coastal Economic Zones to reduce logistics cost and time of EXIM and domestic cargo
o Coastal Community Development: Promoting sustainable development of coastal communities through skill development & livelihood generation activities, fisheries development, coastal tourism etc.
• Port led development initiatives of the government has contributed immensely for the improvement of Ease of doing business rankings of the World Bank.
• The Sagarmala is a series of projects to leverage the country’s coastline and inland waterways to drive industrial development.
• It was originally mooted by the Vajpayee government in 2003 as the waterways equivalent of the Golden Quadrilateral.
• Why is it important?
o Capacity constraints of Indian ports:
• India is located along key international trade routes in the Indian Ocean and has a long coastline of over 7,000 km.
• Yet, capacity constraints and lack of modern facilities at Indian ports tremendously elongates the time taken to ship goods in and out of the country and has held back India’s share in world trade.
o Reducing domestic logistic costs:
• Developing rivers as inland waterways can also help save domestic logistics costs too.
• Transport costs are high in India 18 per cent of GDP, compared to less than 10 per cent in China.
o Port infrastructure and linkages:
• Port infrastructure and linkages have been frankly a sinking ship and initiatives such as Make in India cannot take off without better port infrastructure.
• This has led to expectations that Sagarmala could boost India’s merchandise exports to $110 billion by 2025 and create an estimated 10 million new jobs (four million in direct employment).
4) Generalized Scheme of Preferences is a preferential tariff system of which of the following organisations?
b) World Economic Forum
• The Generalized Scheme of Preferences, or GSP, is a preferential tariff system which provides for a formal system of exemption from the more general rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), (formerly, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or GAT.
• Specifically, it is a system of exemptions from the most favored nation principle (MFN) that obliges WTO member countries to treat the imports of all other WTO member countries no worse than they treat the imports of their “most favored” trading partner.
• In essence, MFN requires WTO member countries to treat imports coming from all other WTO member countries equally, that is, by imposing equal tariffs on them.
• GSP exempts WTO member countries from MFN for the purpose of lowering tariffs for the least developed countries, without also lowering tariffs for rich countries.
5) BeiDou-3 satellite was recently launched by
b) North Korea
• China successfully launched a high orbit satellite BeiDou-3 to boost BeiDou global satellite navigation system being built to rival United States Global Position System (GPS).
• The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern Sichuan Province.
• It is the first BeiDou-3 satellite in high orbit, about 36000 km above the Earth.
• In a geostationary orbit, following the Earth’s rotation, it will view the same point on Earth continuously.
• The satellite is meant to serve countries in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
• It will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the US GPS system, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.