Daily Current Affairs : 29th June

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Small Savings Scheme
  2. Dragon fly
  3. Facts for Prelims : Current Account Deficit and Fiscal Deficit

1 . Small Savings Scheme

Context : Interest rates for small savings schemes will be reduced by 10 basis points for July-September quarter of the ongoing financial year. 

About Small Savings Schemes

  • Small Saving schemes have been always an important source of household savings in India.
  • Small savings instruments can be classified under three heads.
    • Postal deposits [comprising savings account, recurring deposits, time deposits of varying maturities and monthly income scheme(MIS)]
    • Savings certificates [(National Small Savings Certificate VIII (NSC) and Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)]
    • Social security schemes [(public provident fund (PPF) and Senior Citizens‘ Savings Scheme(SCSS)].

National Small Savings Fund

  • A National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) in the Public Account of India has been established in 1999. A new sub sector has been introduced called “National Small Savings Fund” in the list of Major and Minor Heads of Government Accounts.
  • All small savings collections are credited to this Fund. Similarly, all withdrawals under small savings schemes by the depositors are made out of the accumulations in this Fund.
  • The balance in the Fund is invested in Central and State Government Securities. The investment pattern is as per norms decided from time to time by the Government of India.
  • The Fund is administered by the Government of India, Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs) under National Small Savings Fund (Custody and Investment) Rules, 2001, framed by the President under Article 283(1) of the Constitution.
  • The objective of NSSF is to de-link small savings transactions from the Consolidated Fund of India and ensure their operation in a transparent and self-sustaining manner.
  • Since NSSF operates in the public account, its transactions do not impact the fiscal deficit of the Centre directly.
  • As an instrument in the public account, the balances under NSSF are direct liabilities and constitute a part of the outstanding liabilities of the Centre.
  • The NSSF flows affect the cash position of the Central Government.

About Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana

  • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a small savings scheme launched as part of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Campaign
  • The objective was to encourage families to invest in the education of girl children and save for their marriage expenses.

2 . Dragon fly

Context : NASA is sending a drone called Dragonfly to explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

About Dragon Fly

  • Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft will fly to dozens of promising locations on Titan looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth.
  • Dragonfly marks the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet; it has eight rotors and flies like a large drone.
  • It will take advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere – four times denser than Earth’s – to become the first vehicle ever to fly its entire science payload to new places for repeatable and targeted access to surface materials.
  • Dragonfly will explore diverse environments from organic dunes to the floor of an impact crater where liquid water and complex organic materials key to life once existed together for possibly tens of thousands of years.
  • Its instruments will study how far prebiotic chemistry may have progressed. They also will investigate the moon’s atmospheric and surface properties and its subsurface ocean and liquid reservoirs. Additionally, instruments will search for chemical evidence of past or extant life.

3 . Facts for Prelims

Current Account Deficit

  • A current account reflects the net results of a country’s recurring financial transactions with the rest of the world.
  • Trade in goods and services, net income from foreign investments and direct money transfers are the usual components of CAD.
  • Trade includes both export and import of physical goods and services.
  • Income from foreign investments includes dividends and interest.
  • Direct transfer is all money remitted to a home country by its citizens working abroad.
  • If the net value (credit minus debit) of all these components is positive, then its current account is said to be in surplus. A negative value indicates that the country runs a deficit (CAD).
  • Importance : CAD indicates that a country’s spending is higher than what it earns from the rest of the world. When a country runs a CAD for years at a time, it contributes to a steady outflow of foreign exchange and weakens its exchange rate.

Fiscal Deficit

  • The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government. While calculating the total revenue, borrowings are not included. 
  • Importance : As the govt borrows more the money available for corporates to borrow for their investment is considerably reduced. Even the interest rate of borrowing is increased when there is a high borrowing from the govt

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