Daily Current Affairs 03/08/2021
Digital payment solution ‘e-RUPI’
Why in News
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched digital payment solution ‘e-RUPI’.
- e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payment.
- It is a QR code or SMS string-based e-Voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries.
- The users of this seamless one-time payment mechanism will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access, at the service provider.
- It connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface.
- It has been developed by National Payments Corporation of India on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and National Health Authority.
- It is expected to be a revolutionary initiative in the direction of ensuring a leak-proof delivery of welfare services.
- It can also be used for delivering services under schemes meant for providing drugs and nutritional support under Mother and Child welfare schemes, TB eradication programmes, drugs & diagnostics under schemes like Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, fertilizer subsidies etc.
- Even the private sector can leverage these digital vouchers as part of their employee welfare and corporate social responsibility programmes.
Significance of e-RUPI:
- The government is already working on developing a central bank digital currency and the launch of e-RUPI could potentially highlight the gaps in digital payments infrastructure that will be necessary for the success of the future digital currency.
Different from Virtual Currency:
- In effect, e-RUPI is backed by the existing Indian rupee as the underlying asset and specificity of its purpose makes it different to a virtual currency and puts it closer to a voucher-based payment system.
Note: Countries such as the US, Sweden, Hong Kong, Colombia, Chile, etc. are using voucher systems.
India assumes UNSC presidency for August 2021
Why in News
- India assumed the presidency of the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) for the month of August 2021.
- This is the India’s first presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.
- India began its 2 year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC on January 1, 2021.
- It is India’s 8th term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.
About India’s UNSC presidency:
- India is set to organise key events in three major areas of maritime security, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping.
- India will decide the United Nations agenda for the month and coordinate important meetings on a range of issues.
- UNSC will also have on its agenda several important meetings including Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and the Middle East.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting of the UNSC.
- The last time an Indian PM was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 when he attended a UNSC meeting.
Facts about UNSC (United Nations Security Council):
- Formation: 24 October 1945
- Membership: 15 countries
- Permanent members: 5 (United States, China, France, Russia and United Kingdom)
- Non-permanent members: 10 including India
Source: Indian Express
27% reservation for OBCs, 10% for EWS in All India Quota Scheme for UG and PG medical/dental courses
Why in News
- The Union Health Ministry has announced 27% reservation for the OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and 10% quota for the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) in the All India Quota Scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate medical / dental courses from 2021-22 onwards.
About All India Quota (AIQ) Scheme:
- The AIQ was introduced in 1986 under the directions of the Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free merit-based opportunities to students from any State to aspire to study in a medical college located in another State.
- It comprises 15% of UG seats and 50% of PG seats in government medical colleges.
- Initially, there was no reservation in the AIQ until 2007. In 2007, the Supreme Court introduced the reservation of 15% for SCs and 7.5% for STs in the AIQ scheme.
- When the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act became effective in 2007, providing for uniform 27% reservation to the OBCs, the same was implemented in the Central Educational Institutions.
- However, this was not extended to the AIQ seats of State medical and dental colleges.
- The 10% EWS quota under the Constitution (One Hundred And Third Amendment) Act, 2019, too, has been implemented in central educational Institutions, but not in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) AIQ for state institutions.
- The OBC students from across the country shall now be able to take the benefit of this reservation in AIQ to compete for seats in any State.
- Being a Central scheme, the Central List of OBCs shall be used for this reservation. Around 1,500 OBC students in MBBS and 2,500 in post graduation will be benefited through this reservation.
About National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET):
- NEET is the entrance examination for entry to all undergraduate (NEET-UG) and postgraduate (NEET-PG) medical and dental courses in the country.
Source: The Hindu
Social Audit of Social Sector Schemes
Why in news
- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated Information-Monitoring, Evaluation and Social Audit (I-MESA) scheme in Financial Year 2021-22.
About Information-Monitoring, Evaluation and Social Audit (I-MESA):
- Under this scheme, Social Audits are to be conducted for all the schemes of the Department starting FY 2021-22.
- These social audits are done through Social Audit Units (SAU) of the States and National Institute for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
About Social Audit:
- It is the audit of a scheme jointly by the Government and the people, especially by those who are affected by the scheme or its beneficiaries.
- The aim of the Social Audit is to promote accountability, transparency and people’s participation in the schemes meant for them.
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was the first Act to mandate Social Audit by the Gram Sabha of all the projects taken up in the Gram Panchayat.
- Most Indian states have set up an independent Social Audit Unit and some have even begun to facilitate Social Audit in other programmes, including Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Midday Meal Scheme and Public Distribution System.
36th India – Indonesia coordinated patrol (CORPAT)
Why in News
- The 36thedition of Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) was held between Indian Navy and Indonesian Navy from 30 to 31 July 2021.
About Naval Exercise:
- Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel participated in CORPAT with Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Bung Tomo from 30 to 31 July 2021 across the Indo Pacific.
- There was the participation of Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both nations.
- India and Indonesia have been carrying out Coordinated Patrols along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002.
- CORPATs help build understanding and interoperability between navies, and facilitate institution of measures to prevent and suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.
Note: As part of Government of India’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), Indian Navy has been proactively engaging with countries in the Indian Ocean Region to enhance maritime security in the region.
Other Exercise with Indonesia:
- GARUDA SHAKTI (Military Exercise)
- SAMUDRA SHAKTI (Maritime Exercise)
Intel launches ‘AI For All’ initiative in partnership with CBSE
Why in News
- Chipmaker Intel has collaborated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to launch the ‘AI For All’ initiative.
About ‘AI For All’ initiative:
- Based on Intel's ‘AI For Citizens’ programme, 'AI For All' is a 4-hour, self-paced learning programme.
- It aims to create a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for people in India.
- The programme aims to introduce AI to one million citizens in its first year.
- AI has the power to drive faster economic growth, address population-scale challenges and benefit the lives and livelihoods of people.
- National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 acknowledges the importance of AI and emphasises on preparing everyone for an AI-driven economy.
- AI For All is one of the largest AI public awareness programmes worldwide and will help demystify AI in an inclusive manner strengthening India's position as a global leader for emerging technologies.
Source: The Hindu
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