Current Affairs Daily Current Affairs 22

10th March,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 10thMarch,2022

 (30+ Questions hit in Prelims 2021 from this series)

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint

Index

  • National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) (PIB)
  • Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) (PIB)
  • National Youth Parliament Festival (PIB)
  • Dollar-Rupee Sell/Buy Swap (BL)
  • UPI123Pay (TH, pg 15)
  • What is Echolocation? (IE)
  • Lighthouse Centres (TH, pg 2)

 

  1. National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) (PIB)

  • Context:The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for undertaking surplus land monetization.
  • NLMC would be a wholly owned Government of India company.

Analysis

  • NLMC will undertake monetization of surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other Government agencies.
  • The proposal is in pursuance of the Budget Announcement for 2021-22.
  • NLMC is also expected to own, hold, manage and monetize surplus land and building assets of CPSEs under closure and the surplus non-core land assets of Government owned CPSEs under strategic disinvestment.
  • This will speed up the closure process of CPSEs and smoothen the strategic disinvestment process of Government owned CPSEs.
  • This will also enable productive utilization of these under-utilized assets to trigger private sector investments, new economic activities, boost local economy and generate financial resources for economic and social infrastructure.
  • NLMC will also advise and support other Government entities (including CPSEs) in identifying their surplus non-core assets and monetizing them in a professional and efficient manner to generate maximum value realization.
  • With monetization of non-core assets, Government would be able to generate substantial revenues by monetizing unused and under-used assets.

 

  1. Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) (PIB)

  • Ministry of Education will be releasing a detailed report on Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21 on school education of India.

Analysis

  • The UDISE+ system of online data collection from the schools was developed by Department of School Education & Literacy in the year 2018-19 to overcome the issues related to erstwhile practice of manual data filling in paper format and subsequent feeding on computer at the block or district level in the UDISE data collection system since 2012-13.

 

  1. National Youth Parliament Festival (PIB)

  • Context:3rd edition of NYPF was launched on 14th February 2022 at District level through virtual mode.

Analysis

  • The objectives of the National Youth Parliament are to provide a platform for the youth to voice their thoughts, opinions and dreams for the country and enable the youth to voice their concerns and local problems on a platform to be heard.
  • Also, to publicize the various schemes and activities of the government to the youth in an attractive interactive platform and to inculcate the spirit of democracy through civic engagement and dialogue.
  • NYP encourages the youth to engage with public issues, understand the common man’s point of view, form opinions and articulate efficiently and also promote informed and data backed decision making abilities among youth.
  • Along with this to develop in youth a respect and tolerance for diverging perspectives from their own beliefs and to develop in youth an understanding that respect for rules is essential for conducting any discussion systematically and effectively.
  • Another objective of NYP is to obtain and document the youth’s opinions on Vision of New India in 2022 and make available the prominent views and aspiration arising out of the deliberations to policy makers to take it forward.

 

  1. Dollar-Rupee Sell/Buy Swap (BL)

  • Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) conducted a $ 5 billion dollar-rupee swap auction as part of its liquidity management initiative, leading to infusion of dollars and sucking out of the rupee from the financial system.
  • This Central Bank’s move will reduce the pressure on inflation and strengthen the rupee.
  • After the swap auction, the rupee recovered to Rs 76.92 from Rs 76.97 against 1 US dollar.

Analysis

What is a Dollar–Rupee Swap auction? 

  • It’s a forex tool whereby the central bank uses its currency to buy another currency or vice versa.
  • Note: In a Dollar–Rupee buy/sell swap, the central bank buys dollars (US dollars or USD) from banks in exchange for Indian Rupees (INR) and immediately gets into an opposite deal with banks promising to sell dollars at a later date.
  • Note:In a dollar–rupee sell/buy swap it sells USD in exchange for INR and promises to buy dollar from banks after some years.

Why do Central Banks engage in it? 

  • Forex swaps help in liquidity management. It also, in a limited way, helps in keeping the currency rates in check.
  • It is the tool used by the RBI to suck outthe liquidity in the economy and manages the currency pressure.
  • Note: A dollar–rupee buy/sell swap injects INR into the banking system while sucking out the dollars, and the reverse happens in a sell/buy swap.
  • Note: The swap auction can be done in the reverse way also when there is shortage of liquidity in the system.
  • At present RBI is trying to increase the US dollar liquidity in the market as there is a mismatch.
  • When the central bank sells dollars, it sucks out an equivalent amount in rupees, thus reducing the rupee liquidity in the system.
  • Dollar inflow into the market will strengthen the rupee which has already hit the 77 level against the US dollar. (Refer Context again)
  • The RBI then buys dollars from the market and releases an equivalent amount in the rupees.
  • With crude oil prices rising sharply in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war, inflation is set to rise in the coming days.
  • Further, foreign portfolio investors have been pulling out funds from India.
  • RBI saidit was doing the swaps in view of the intense selling pressure by FIIs in stock markets, witnessed in India which in turn causes depreciation of rupee (FIIs need dollars but non availability of dollars leads to increase in Dollar to Rupee {eg 1 $ = Rs 80} exchange rate causing decline in rupee value vis-à-vis Dollar).
  • The RBI normally brings down liquidity in the system when inflation threatens to rise sharply.

Why is RBI resorting to it now? 

  • Surplus liquidity in the system needs to be curbed to keep a tab on inflation.
  • Usually, the central bank will resort to traditional tools such as increasing the repo rate or increasing the cash reserve ratio (CRR), but this can have a negative implication on the economy.
  • Therefore, the RBI used a different toolkit – such as a dollar–rupee sell/buy swap

How will RBI’s move impact the rupee and bonds?

  • Amidst global tension and hardening crude oil prices, it’s important to keep INR under control.
  • The RBI resorting to selling USD will keep a check on Rupee’s volatility and help curb its depreciation to some extent.

 

  1. UPI123Pay (TH, pg 15)

  • Context: The Reserve Bank of India launched a new Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments solution for feature phone users (who were so far been excluded from the digital payments landscape) dubbed ‘UPI123Pay’. RBI also launched 24×7 helpline for digital payments – DigiSaathi.

Analysis

  • UPI, which was introduced in 2016, has become one of the most used digital payments platforms in the country.
  • UPI on feature phones will help people in rural areas who cannot afford a smartphone.
  • A feature phone is a type of mobile phone that retains the form factor of earlier generations of mobile telephones, typically with press-button based inputs and a small non-touch display.
  • UPI123Pay is basically Mobile payment systems that is not dependent on internet connectivity.
  • M-PESA, Africa’s leading mobile money service, is one of the few mobile service providers who do not use internet for financial transactions.
  • Mobile payment systems that do not rely on internet connectivity like the ones based on USSD or SMS technology were introduced many years ago and are still being used in some developing countries.
  • UPI 123Pay will allow customers to use feature phones for almost all transactions except scan and pay.
  • It doesn’t need an internet connection for transactions. Customers have to link their bank account with feature phones to use this facility.
  • Such users can initiate payments to friends and family, pay utility bills, recharge the FAST Tags of their vehicles, pay mobile bills and also allow users to check account balances.
  • Customers will also be able to link bank accounts, set or change UPI PINs.
  • Feature phone users will now be able to undertake a host of transactions based on four technology alternatives.
  • They include calling an IVR (interactive voice response) number, app functionality in feature phones, missed call-based approach and also proximity sound-based payments.
  • The proximity sound-based payments option uses sound waves to enable contactless, offline, and proximity data communication on any device.

 

  1. What is Echolocation? (IE)

  • Context: ‘Comical’ bat also called Rhinolophus bats not seen in 40 years is found again in a Rwandan park. Rhinolophus bats echolocate through the unique and exaggerated folds on their noses called “nose leaves.”

Analysis

  • Most bats live a nocturnal life, hence, they need an efficient mechanism to move around in the dark.
  • Bats use a technique called echolocation to navigate and hunt their prey.
  • Bats are guided by ultrasonic waves which they produce and enable them to fly in the dark.
  • The echo of bats is very much the same as SONAR where echo is produced by the emitted ultrasonic sounds.
  • Echolocation works when the bat emits sounds of variable pitch (ultrasonic waves), which bounce off obstacles or prey, before bouncing back to the bat.
  • Bats, whales, dolphins, a few birds like the nocturnal oilbird and some swiftlets, shrews and tenrec from Madagascar, Hedgehog and some blind people are all known to echolocate.

 

  1. Lighthouse Centres (TH, pg 2)

  • Offering a chance to youth living in slum clusters in the Capital to acquire new-age skills that will help them seek employment, the Delhi government launched the Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University’s ‘Lighthouse Centres’.

These centres located in slum clusters will provide short-term vocational skill courses as well as a plethora of employment opportunities for youth between 18-30 years of age