GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

AIIB Approves $140 Million Loan To Improve Rural Connectivity In Madhya Pradesh.

Background

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved a $140 million loan for enhancing rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh which will benefit around 1.5 million rural residents through improved livelihood, education and mobility, the government said on 12th April, 2018.
  • The project, co-financed with the World Bank, aims to improve the rural road connectivity and management for residents of about 5,640 villages who use the rural roads for daily activities.

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Livelihood of the rural population will be improved by expanding income earning opportunities through better farm-to-market road connections. Moreover, more children are expected to enrol in higher education programmes and school attendance is expected to further improve, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
  • The road maintenance pilot under the project will employ more women, contributing to gender equality and income generation, it added.
  • AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian said that promoting sustainable growth in India through investment in rural infrastructure will require substantial financing.
  • He is glad that AIIB’s participation in this project will contribute to reducing this financing gap and enhance overall development in the region, he said.
  • The planned activities under the project include upgrading the gravel surface roads to a sealed surface standard, providing additional linkages to villages with potential for high growth and enhancing institutional capacity.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper II- Governance.

RBI Tightens Reporting Norms Of Outward Remittances To Improve Monitoring.

Background

  • The Reserve Bank on 12th April, 2018 tightened reporting norms for the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) under which an individual can transfer up to USD 2,50,000 abroad in a year.
  • The LRS transactions are currently permitted by banks based on the declaration made by the remitter.
  • The monitoring of adherence to the limit is confined to obtaining such a declaration without independent verification, in the absence of a reliable source of information.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • In order to improve monitoring and also to ensure compliance with the LRS limits, it has been decided to put in place a daily reporting system by AD banks of transactions undertaken by individuals under LRS, which will be accessible to all the other ADs, the RBI said in a notification.
  • Now banks will be required to upload daily transaction-wise information undertaken by them under LRS.
  • Under the LRS, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.
  • Individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the purposes within the limit of USD 2,50,000 only.
  • The scheme was introduced on February 4, 2004, with a limit of USD 25,000. The LRS limit has been revised in stages consistent with prevailing macro and micro economic conditions.

Sources- Business-Standard.

 

GS Paper III- Technology, Security.

Government Constitutes 13 Member Task Force For Fast-Tracking Implementation Of UAV Technology.

Background

  • With an aim to prepare a road map and fast-track the implementation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, or drones, in the country, the Centre on 12th April, 2018 announced setting up of a 13-member task force headed by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.
  • Apart from developing a road map, the task force would also lay down implementable recommendations for central and state governments, industry and research institutions.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The task force would comprise civil aviation secretary R N Choubey, Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek as members.
  • Chief of Integrated Defence Staff Lt Gen Satish Dua, Bureau of Police Research and Development’s Director General A P Maheshwari, Director General of Civil Aviation BS Bhullar, DRDO Chairman and Secretary S Christopher, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Director General and Secretary Girish Sahni, Airports Authority of India Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra are in the task force.
  • The committee’s road map would also focus on R&D, acquisition and commercialisation, application and adoption in specific sectors, regulatory framework as well as preference for Make in India.

Sources- The Indian Express.