Daily Current Affairs : 4th March

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Dragon capsule
  2. RCEP
  3. Kanyashree Scheme

1 . Dragon Capsule

Context : SpaceX celebrated the successful launch on Saturday of a new astronaut capsule on a week-long round trip to the International Space Station — a key step towards resuming manned space flights from U.S. soil after an eight-year break.

About Space X

  • Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is a commercial company aiming to launch cargo, and eventually people, to low-Earth orbit.
  • The firm is developing its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 booster under contracts from NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program and its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

Dragon Capsule

  • Dragon is a free-flying spacecraft designed to deliver both cargo and people to orbiting destinations.
  • It is the only spacecraft currently flying that is capable of returning significant amounts of cargo to Earth.
  • Currently Dragon carries cargo to space, but it was designed from the beginning to carry humans.

About the News

  • SpaceX has successfully docked an unmanned astronaut capsule to the International Space Station. It was a big test for the SpaceX program, which aims to give NASA a second option for sending astronauts to space.

2 . RCEP

Context : To ensure that progress is made towards meeting the target for conclusion in 2019, the Ministers agreed to intensify engagement, including by convening more inter-sessional meetings,” the Commerce Ministry said, quoting a joint statement.

About RCEP

  • The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a pact that aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
  • The RCEP members include 10 ASEAN members – Brunei Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam and their 6 free trade agreement partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

India and RCEP

  • India already has a free trade agreement with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan and South Korea and it is negotiating similar pacts with Australia and New Zealand.
  • India is pushing for liberalizing norms to promote services trade as the sector accounts for about 55 % of India’s GDP. India is looking for a balance trade agreement as it would cover 40% of the global GDP and over 42% of world’s population.
  • Members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership want India to eliminate or reduce customs duties on maximum number of goods it trades with them. But, lower level of ambitions in services and investments, a key area of interest for India, does not augur well for the pact that seeks to be comprehensive

3 . Kanyashree Scheme

About the Scheme

  • Department of Women Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal (DWD&SW) has designed the Kanyashree Prakalpa – a conditional cash transfer scheme with the aim of improving the status and well being of the girl child in West Bengal by incentivizing schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18, the legal age of marriage.

Components of the Scheme

The scheme has two components:

  • Annual Scholarship of Rs. 500/-(Rupees Five hundred only)
  • One time Grant of Rs. 25,000/-(Rupees Twenty-five thousand only)

The Annual Scholarship is for unmarried girls aged 13-18 years enrolled in classes VIII-XII in government recognized regular or equivalent open school or equivalent vocational/technical training course.

The One-time Grant is for girls turned 18 at the time of application, enrolled in government recognized regular or open school/college or pursuing vocational/technical training or sports activity or is an inmate of Home registered under J.J. Act 2000

Target Beneficiary

  • All girl children within the age of 13 to 19 years from families with annual income up to Rs 120000/-
  • Girls regularly attending institutions for education or vocational/sports training
  • Girls of Child Care Institutes registered under J.J. Act within the age of 18-19 years
  • For the one-time grant, girls who are completing 18 years on or after 1st April 2013
  • Approximately 18 Lakhs girl students for annual scholarship each year
  • Approximately 3.5 Lakhs girls for one time grant each year

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