PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE
- Desert Locust
- Kisan Suvidha Mobile App
- Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)
- Steps to reduce bank frauds
- India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED)
- National Investigation Agency
1 . Desert Locust
Context : There is an incursion of Desert locust (belongs to the category of grasshoppers) in low to medium density since 21st May 2019 onwards, from the border areas of Pakistan mainly in the Jaisalmer district of the Rajasthan State. Its presence has also been noticed in the Barmer and Jalore districts of Rajasthan and Banaskantha district of Gujarat.
About Desert Locust
- The Desert Locust is one of about a dozen species of short-horned grasshoppers (Acridoidea) that are known to change their behavior and form swarms of adults or bands of hoppers. The swarms that form can be dense and highly mobile.
- Locust swarms devastate crops and cause major agricultural damage and attendant human misery—famine and starvation.
- Found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, they inhabit some 60 countries and can cover one-fifth of Earth’s land surface. Desert locust plagues may threaten the economic livelihood of one-tenth of the world’s humans.
- A desert locust swarm can be 460 square miles in size and pack between 40 and 80 million locusts into less than half a square mile.
- Each locust can cause extensive damage to crops
2 . Kisan Suvidha Mobile App
About Kisan Suvidha Mobile App
- Kisan Suvidha is an omnibus mobile app developed by Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to help farmers by providing relevant information to them quickly.
- The app is available in multiple Indian languages.
Facilities available on Kisan Suvida App
- Weather – provides weather report for that day and weather forecast for next five days of a selected district. Extreme weather alerts are also provided.
- Dealers – Name, Mobile number and Address of the dealers of Seeds, Pesticides, Fertilizer and Farm Machinery are provided.
- Market Prices – information about rates of various crops in different mandies are provided.
- Plant Protection – Crop specific information related to pest management are provided. If the condition of crop is not normal, farmers can upload a picture/photo of the crop and send it through kisan suvidha app to agriculture experts for advice.
- Agro Advisories – Information from agriculture experts of districts regarding the advisories about activities to be undertaken and precaution to be taken staring from sowing to harvesting.
- Contact KCC – This option provides facility to speak to Kisan Call Centre (KCC).
- Soil Heath Card – option gives information about Soil Health Card, so that farmers can use fertilizer and pesticides judiciously having regard to minerals available in a particular land/farm.
- Cold Storage and gowdowns – information about warehouse and cold storage available in the district like warehouse / cold storage, name of manager, address, storage capacity and phone number etc are provided.
3 . Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)
- Department has launched a new Central Sector scheme namely “Integrated Management of Public Distribution System (IM-PDS)” for implementation during 2018-19 and 2019-20.
- The key objectives of the scheme are to integrate the existing PDS systems/portals of States/UTs with the Central Systems/portals, introduction of National Portability of ration card holders to lift foodgrains from any fair price shop (FPS) across the country, and also National level de-duplication of ration cards/beneficiary.
4 . Initiatives undertaken by Govt to reduce bank frauds
Mains Value Addition Material
Initiatives undertaken by Govt to reduce Bank Frauds
- Government has issued “Framework for timely detection, reporting, investigation etc. relating to large value bank frauds” to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), for systemic and comprehensive checking of legacy stock of their non-performing assets (NPAs), which provides, inter-alia, that—
- all accounts exceeding Rs. 50 crore, if classified as NPAs, be examined by banks from the angle of possible fraud, and a report placed before the bank’s Committee for Review of NPAs on the findings of this investigation;
- examination be initiated for wilful default immediately upon reporting fraud to RBI; and
- report on the borrower be sought from the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau in case an account turns NPA.
- Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 has been enacted to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. The act provides for attachment of property of a fugitive economic offender, confiscation of such offender’s property and disentitlement of the offender from defending any civil claim.
- PSBs have been advised to obtain certified copy of the passport of the promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing loan facilities of more than Rs. 50 crore and, decide on publishing photographs of wilful defaulters, in terms of Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s instructions and as per their Board-approved policy and to strictly ensure rotational transfer of officials/employees. The heads of PSBs have also been empowered to issue requests for issue of Look Out Circulars.
- For enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring the quality of audits, Government has established the National Financial Reporting Authority as an independent regulator.
- In order to bring transparency and accountability in the larger financial system, bank accounts of 3.38 lakh inoperative companies were frozen over the last two financial years.
5 . India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED)
Context : The Second India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) shall be held on 10 July in New Delhi, under the chairmanship of Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog and Mr. Timur Maksimov, Deputy Minister of the Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
About India – Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue
- The IRSED was established following a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation during the 19th edition of the Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit in 2018
- The First India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue was held in St. Petersburg between November 25-26, 2018, and was chaired by Mr. Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog.
- The Second meeting of the IRSED shall be focussing on six core areas of cooperation, namely, Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies; Development of Agriculture and Agro-Processing sector; Small and Medium Business support; Digital Transformation and Frontier Technologies; Cooperation in Trade, Banking, Finance, and Industry; and Tourism & Connectivity.
6 . National Investigation Agency
Context : A Bill seeking to further strengthen the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by giving it powers to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests on foreign soil was introduced in Lok Sabha. Legislation will also allow the NIA probe cyber crimes and cases of human trafficking.
- The NIA was created by an Act of the Parliament of India on December 31, 2008 following Mumbai Terror Attack of November 2008.
- According to the NIA Act, the Agency is an investigation agency at the national level to investigate and prosecute offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, security of State, friendly relations with foreign States and offences under Acts enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto for investigation and prosecution of offences affecting sovereignty, security and integrity of India. NIA plays the role of the national counter terrorism law enforcement agency.
- The NIA was established in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation and prosecution. Hence, it was “not an Agency to deal with offences under all the laws”, but “with only eight laws”:
- The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962);
- The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967);
- The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 (65 of 1982);
- The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 (66 of 1982);
- The SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1993 (36 of 1993);
- The Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 (69 of 2002);
- The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005 (21 of 2005);
- Offences under— Chapter VI of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) [sections 121 to 130 (both inclusive)]; Sections 489-A to 489-E (both inclusive) of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
- Under two circumstances the NIA takes up a case “to investigate and prosecute offences”.
- It could be on reference from the State where a Scheduled offence has taken place. On receipt of report from the State Government, the Central Government shall determine on the basis of information made available by the State Government or received from other sources, within 15 days from the date of receipt of the report, whether the offence is a fit case to be investigated by the NIA
- The Central Government may also, suo motu, direct the Agency to investigate a Scheduled offence if it is of the opinion that the offence is required to be investigated under the NIA Act