Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- Purchasing Manager’s Index
- Public Health Emergency of International Concern
- Central Universities Amendment Bill
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Purchasing Manager’s Index
Context : India’s manufacturing sector rebounded in July, with sales and output growing at the fastest pace since November, as per the survey-based S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). The PMI quickened last month to 56.4, from June’s 9-month low of 53.9.
About the News
- The index suggested ‘marked gains’ in new business orders during July, even though job creation remained marginal amid an uncertain outlook.
- Although costs continued to rise, the inflation rate in manufacturing inputs eased to an 11-month low. Chemicals, electronic components, metals, textiles and transportation fees were reportedly higher, even as the pass-through of higher costs to output prices moderated to the lowest in four months.
- “Inflation rates, for both input prices and output charges, were most acute in the capital goods segment. The weakest rises were… in the intermediate goods sub-sector.”
- New export orders grew at the slowest pace in four months, even as aggregate new orders recovered smartly in July from the loss in growth momentum in the preceding month. It was the thirteenth month in a row that factory orders and production recorded growth.
What is PMI index ?
- Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is a survey-based economic indicator designed to provide a timely insight into business conditions.
- The PMI is widely used to anticipate changing economic trends in official data such as GDP, or sometimes as an alternative gauge of economic performance and business conditions to official data, as the latter sometimes suffer from delays in publication, poor availability or data quality issues.
- The PMI is produced globally by IHS Markit although a small number of trade associations also produce local PMIs in certain markets, such as the ISM in the United States.
What does the Purchasing Managers’ Index measure?
- The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is a survey-based indicator of business conditions, which includes individual measures (‘sub-indices’) of business output, new orders, employment, costs, selling prices, exports, purchasing activity, supplier performance, backlogs of orders and inventories of both inputs and finished goods, where applicable.
- The surveys ask respondents to report the change in each variable compared to the prior month, noting whether each has risen/improved, fallen/deteriorated or remained unchanged.
- These objective questions are accompanied by one subjective ‘sentiment’ question asking companies whether they forecast their output to be higher, the same or lower in a year’s time.
- Originally compiled for manufacturing, IHS Markit pioneered the extension of coverage to other sectors in the 1990s, including services, construction and retail.
- The PMI and its sub-indices are widely used to anticipate changing economic trends in official data such as GDP, or sometimes as an alternative gauge of economic performance and business conditions to official data, as the latter sometimes suffer from delays in publication, poor availability or data quality issues.
What is Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s index
- A manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index is a survey-based economic indicator designed to provide a timely insight into changing business conditions in the goods-producing sector.
What is a services PMI?
- The services PMI was introduced in 1996 by IHS Markit’s economists (known as NTC Research at the time) to accompany the existing manufacturing PMI.
- With the service sector accounting for a larger proportion of GDP than manufacturing for most developed economies, the services PMI was born out of a need for analysts (and in particular central bank policymakers) to better understand changing business conditions in the wider economy.
- The services PMI has fewer questions than the manufacturing PMI due to some questions, such as inventories, not being relevant to many service providers.
- Coverage includes financial services, consumer services and all other business services.
Composite Purchasing Managers Index
- The composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is an indicator of economic health for manufacturing and service sectors.
- The purpose of the PMI is to provide information about current business conditions to company decision makers, analysts and purchasing managers.
- Each country PMI survey for the manufacturing or service sector is based on questionnaire responses from panels of senior purchasing executives (or similar) at over 400 companies.
- The composite PMI is a number from 0 to 100. A PMI above 50 represents an expansion when compared with the previous month.
- The PMI is widely seen as an accurate and timely indicator of business conditions that helps analysts and economists to correctly anticipate changing economic trends in official data series such as gross domestic products (GDP), industrial production, employment and inflation. Because PMI data are sometimes released months ahead of comparable official data, the PMI surveys are ranked among the world’s most market moving economic data releases.
Facts for Prelims
Purchasing Manager’s IndexA PMI reading under 50 represents a contraction, and a reading at 50 indicates no change
2 . Public Health Emergency of International Concern
Context : Recently WHO Director-General declared the escalating global monkeypox outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
About Public Health Emergency of International Concern
- A public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) is a formal declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) of “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”, formulated when a situation arises that is “serious, sudden, unusual, or unexpected”, which “carries implications for public health beyond the affected state’s national border” and “may require immediate international action”.
- Under the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR), states have a legal duty to respond promptly to a PHEIC.
- The declaration is publicized by an IHR Emergency Committee (EC) of international experts, which was developed following the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak
- Between 2009 and 2022, there were seven PHEIC declarations: the 2009 H1N1 (or swine flu) pandemic, the 2014 polio declaration, the 2013–2016 outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa, the 2015–16 Zika virus epidemic, the 2018–20 Kivu Ebola epidemic, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing 2022 monkeypox outbreak. The recommendations are temporary and require reviews every three months.
- Automatically, SARS, smallpox, wild type poliomyelitis, and any new subtype of human influenza are considered as PHEICs and thus do not require an IHR decision to declare them as such. A PHEIC is not only confined to infectious diseases, and may cover an emergency caused by exposure to a chemical agent or radioactive material. It can be seen as an “alarm system”, a “call to action”, and “last resort” measure
3 . Central Universities Amendment Bill
Context : The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 1, 2022. The Bill amends the Central Universities Act, 2009, which provides for establishing central universities in various states.
Key features of the Bill
- Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya: The Bill seeks to convert the National Rail and Transportation Institute, Vadodara (a deemed university) to the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya, which will be a central university. The National Rail and Transportation Institute was declared a deemed university under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956. The Vishwavidyalaya will be sponsored and funded by the central government through the Ministry of Railways.
- Scope of education: The Bill provides that Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya will take measures to provide quality teaching, research, and skill development in disciplines related to transportation, technology, and management. If required, the University may also establish centres in India and abroad. According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons, establishment of the Vishwavidyalaya will address the need of trained talent in the transportation sector.
- Appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor (VC): The existing VC of the National Rail and Transportation Institute will hold office for: (i) six months from when the Act is notified, or (ii) until a new VC for the Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya is appointed, whichever is earlier.
4 . Facts for Prelims
African Swine Fever
- African swine fever is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and feral swine of all ages. ASF is not a threat to human health and cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. It is not a food safety issue.
Dog unit in Indian Army
- The Indian Army has various breeds of dogs in its dog units. These include Labradors, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois and Great Mountain Swiss Dogs. Axel was reportedly a Belgian Malinois breed dog.
- There are a variety of duties which are performed by Army dogs and these include guard duty, patrolling, sniffing explosives including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), mine detection, sniffing contraband items including drugs, assaulting potential targets, avalanche debris detection as well as participating in search operations to locate hiding fugitives and terrorists.
- In the Indian Army, animals, including dogs, are eligible to be awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Card, Vice Chief of Staff Commendation Card as well as General Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation Card for their acts of gallantry as well as distinguished service. The Dog Handlers are eligible for the gallantry medals and have been awarded Shaurya Chakra and Sena Medal for gallantry while taking part in operations with their dogs.
- In the United Kingdom, the highest award for animals in military or police service is the PDSA Dickin Medal. It was instituted in 1943 by Maria Dickin, founder of People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) for any animal displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while serving with British armed forces or civil emergency services. The bronze Dickin Medal is embossed with words ‘For Gallantry” on one side and “We Also Serve” on the other.