POLITY & GOVERNANCE
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance
- LocalCircles and Transparency International India have concluded India Corruption Survey 2019 to ascertain the level of domestic corruption in the country and gather citizen pulse on corruption.
- The survey received 190,000 responses from people located in 248 districts of India across 20 Indian states.
- According to 2018 Survey, 56% citizens of the country had paid bribes.
- 2019 Survey reveals a definite and noticeable reduction in the number of times bribes are paid by the citizens either directly or indirectly. The reduced percentage of citizens is 51%.
- Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018 which was hailed as a force that would deter the Government employees from indulging in bribery has started to show some effects, as is evident from the numbers from this year’s survey.
- Awareness about existing state hotlines/helplines to report corruption is still a big issue as 61% citizens in this year’s survey said that they were unaware of any such hotline in their state.
- Although CCTVs are a slight deterrent, bribery still continues in Government offices despite major computerisation.
- Property registration & land issues turned out to be the largest authority where citizens had to pay a bribe.
- Cash is still the primary mode used to pay bribes with 35% saying they paid cash as bribes in the last 12 months to get their work done.
- There has been no reduction in instances of bribery by police in the last 12 months.
- Majority said that they paid bribes due to coercion or inefficiencies prevailing in Government offices.
- Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa and Odisha turned out to be the states where citizens reported low instances of corruption.
- Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Punjab were the states where citizens reported higher instances of corruption.
[Source: Economic Times, Indian Express, localcircles.com]
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Infrastructure in Indian Economy, Rural and Urban Insfrastructure, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways
- Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has announced that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles, private and commercial, from December 15, 2019. The earlier deadline was December 1.
- The Minister recently called FASTags (a device to make automatic payments at toll booths), the equivalent of Aadhaar for vehicles, which will allow the government to track their movement across the country.
What is FASTag?
- It is a prepaid radio-frequency identification-enabled tag that facilitates automatic deduction of toll charges.
- A FASTag uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to make cashless payments through a prepaid account linked to it.
- The new system will now do away away with a stop-over of vehicles and cash transactions at toll plazas.
- It is being implemented by the Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL), a company incorporated by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and the National Payments Corporation of India in coordination with Toll Plaza Concessionaires, tag issuing agencies and banks.
- Currently, FASTag can be bought from 22 certified banks, through various online platforms, online applications and at select points-of-sale locations.
- FASTag has a validity of five years.
How FASTag works?
- The tag is fixed on the windshield of a vehicle, ideally on the glass just behind the rear-view mirror.
- It is scanned by the tag reader and the toll amount is deducted when the vehicle approaches a toll plaza.
- The user will get a short message service (SMS) alert on the registered mobile phone about all transactions and the available balance.
Need for FASTag
- A joint study in 2014-15 by the Transport Corporation of India and the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta estimated the cost of delay on Indian roads at $6.6 billion per year.
- The cost of additional fuel consumption due to delays was also put at $14.7 billion per year.
- To speed up the toll collection process, there is a need to gradually move towards electronic toll collection, which will reduce congestion and queues at toll plazas.
- FASTags are likely to reduce the nation’s GDP loss by bringing down loss of fuel while waiting at toll plazas.
- It will plug revenue leakages and reduce the cost of delays and fuel consumption.
- The tag will help to remove bottlenecks, ensures seamless movement of traffic and saves time.
- The centralised system provides authentic and real-time data to government agencies for better analysis and policy formulation.
- It will also reduce air pollution and the use of paper besides cutting the cost of managing toll plazas.
- The Central government also plans to enable the use of FASTag for a range of other facilities such as fuel payments and parking charges.
[Source: The Hindu, PIB]
Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Economy [Paper-II]: Trends and Patterns in structure of population over time – Growth rate, Gender Rural-Urban Migration
- Global Migration Report 2020 was recently released by the UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM).
- The Report has been produced to contribute to increased understanding of migration throughout the world.
Key Highlights of the Report
- As compared to the 2000 Global Migration Report, the number of international migrants has nearly doubled in the 2020 report, from 150 million to 272 million.
- The proportion of female international migrants has only marginally changed between the two reports, from 47.5% in 2000 to 47.9%.
- The share of international migrants who were children has dropped from 16% in 2000 to 13.9%.
- The number of international migrants in 2019 is estimated at 270 million.
- India continued to be the largest country of origin of international migrants (5 million) followed by Mexico (11.8 million) and China (10.7 million).
- Unites States was the topmost destination with nearly 51 million migrants.
- More than half of all international migrants (141 million) live in Europe and North America.
- International remittances increased to $689 billion in 2018.
- The top three remittance recipients were India ($78.6 billion), China ($67.4 billion) and Mexico ($35.7 billion).
- The United States remained the top remittance-sending country ($68.0 billion) followed by the United Arab Emirates ($44.4 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($36.1 billion).
- There is a popular trend of migrating from poorer to richer nations such as to France, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
- Roughly two-thirds of international migrants are labour migrants.
- The top migration corridors for Indians are the United Arab Emirates, the US and Saudi Arabia.
- The highest number of migrants entering India comes from Bangladesh.
FACTS OF THE DAY
INAS 314 – “RAPTORS”
- Indian Naval Air Squadron 314, the sixth Dornier aircraft squadron was commissioned on 29th November, 2019.
- The commissioning will enhance India’s maritime security and surveillance footprint in the North Arabian Sea.
- INAS 314 derives its name “Raptors” from the “Bird of Prey” family.
- The insignia of the squadron depicts a ‘Raptor bird’ searching over the vast blue expanse of the sea.
- ‘Raptors’ are large bird of prey known for excellent sensory capabilities, powerful and sharp talons and strong wings symbolising the capabilities of the aircraft and envisaged roles of the squadron.
- The squadron will operate the Dornier aircraft, a multi-role SRMR aircraft, with twin turboprop engine manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL) Kanpur.
- The aircraft can be used for electronic warfare missions, maritime surveillance, search and rescue and to provide targeting data to weapon platform.
‘ARDRA VIDYALAYAM’ PROJECT
- ‘Ardra Vidyalayam’ project was launched in Wayanad, Kerala. It is an innovative project on first aid initiated by the Wayanad district administration.
- The project envisages imparting the basics of performing first aid to students to handle medical emergencies.
- The project was launched in the district in the wake of the death of a 10-year-old student due to snakebite.
- One-day basic life support training will be provided to nearly 80,000 students, from Classes 8 to Plus Two, in the district in the initial phase of the project.
- The training programme will be completed in 45 days.
- ‘Ardram’ corners will be set up in the second phase of the project. Pamphlets and brochures on medical emergency measures, medicines and phone numbers to be contacted at the time of emergency will be available in the corners.
MRS. UNITED NATIONS WORLD
- Saritha Ram Menon from Thrissur, Kerala has won the prestigious title of Mrs. United Nations World at United Nations Pageant World finals 2019, which was held in New Delhi and Punjab.
- She represented Australia in the pageant and became the first South Asian woman to win the title.
- Saritha was also crowned the Mrs. South Asia (India) and Mrs. South Asia (NSW) 2018, which was held in Melbourne (Victoria) in September 2018.
- She also won the title of Talented India Worldwide 2018, which was held in Adelaide (South Australia) in March 2018.
EXERCISE MITRA SHAKTI- 2019
- The seventh edition of Exercise MITRA SHAKTI- 2019 commenced at Aundh Military Station, Pune.
- It aims to enhance interoperability and operational efficiency amongst the armies of both India and Sri Lanka when deployed as part of United Nations peace keeping forces.
- The objective of the exercise is to build and promote positive relations between armies of India and Sri Lanka through focus on sub unit level training on counter insurgency and counter terrorism operations in urban and rural environment under United Nations mandate.
- The joint exercise is designed for incorporating the current dynamics of United Nations peace keeping operations through practical and comprehensive discussions and tactical exercises.
KHELO INDIA YOUTH GAMES
- The third edition of Khelo India Youth Games-2020 Logo was launched in Guwahati by Chief Minister of Assam.
- Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
- The 3rd edition of Khelo India Youth Games will start from 10th January 2020 and will continue till 22nd January.
- The event will be held in 20 disciplines with participation of 37 states and Union Territories. Khelo India programme’s inaugural edition was held in New Delhi in 2018, while Pune hosted 2nd edition in 2019.
- 2020 Games will be conducted in partnership with Indian Olympic Association (IOA), School Games Federation of India (SGFI) & Assam as host State.
- The event will see a participation of over 12000 athletes and officials from all over country.
WORLD AIDS DAY 2019
- December 1 is celebrated as World AIDS Day every year all over the world.
- The main motto behind celebrating the day is to raise public awareness about AIDS.
- Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a pandemic disease caused due to the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes damage to the immune system.
- The theme for World Aids Day 2019 is “Communities Make the Difference.”