9th March,2022 ; Daily Current Affairs

Daily Current Affairs   Date : 9thMarch,2022

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

Covers 4 Most relevant Sources

  • The Hindu
  • Indian Express
  • PIB
  • Mint


  • Nari Shakti Puraskars (PIB)
  • National Supercomputing Mission (PIB)
  • Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) (TH, pg 13)
  • Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN)Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) (TH, pg 14)
  • Pal-Dadhvav massacre (IE)
  • Credit Rating Agencies in India (TH, pg 16)


  1. Nari Shakti Puraskars (PIB)

  • Context:The President of India presented Nari Shakti Puraskar for the years 2020 and 2021 on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8th March).


  • These awardsare given annually by the Ministry of Women and Child Development through the President of India toindividual men or women / groups / academic institutions / NGOs/ villages etc. in recognition of their exceptional work towards the cause of economic and social empowerment of women, especially for vulnerable and marginalized women.
  • Nari Shakti Puraskars are given on International Women’s Day observed on 8thMarch 2020.
  • In case of Individual category, the awardee must be at least 25 years of age on 1st July of the award year.
  • She should not have been a recipient earlier of the award (including Stree Shakti Puruskars).
  • If the applicant is an institution, it should have worked in the relevant field for at least last 5 years.
  • An award may also be given to a State or Union Territory, which has appreciably improved Child Sex Ratio.


  1. National Supercomputing Mission (PIB)

  • Context:Petascale Supercomputer “PARAM Ganga” established at IIT Roorkee under National Supercomputing Mission.


  • The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) is being steered jointly by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeiTY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
  • The Mission plans to build and deploy 24 facilities with cumulative compute power of more than 64 Petaflops.
  • C-DAC has been entrusted the responsibility to design, development, deployment and commissioning of the supercomputing systems under the build approach of Mission.
  • It has designed and developed a compute server “Rudra” and high-speed interconnect “Trinetra” which are the major sub-assemblies required for supercomputers.

Do you know?

  • Supercomputer is any of a class of extremely powerful computers.
  • The term is commonly applied to the fastest high-performance systems available at any given time.

Distinguishing Features

  • Unlike conventional computers, they usually have more than one CPU (central processing unit).
  • Most supercomputers have a very large storage capacity, as well as a very fast input/output capability.
  • Still another distinguishing characteristic of supercomputers is their use of vector arithmetic—i.e., they are able to operate on pairs of lists of numbers rather than on mere pairs of numbers.

What is FLOPS?

  • Floating-point operations per second, or FLOPS, is the unit of measurement that calculates the performance capability of a supercomputer.
  • One petaFLOPS is equal to one thousand teraFLOPS.


  1. Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) (TH, pg 13)

  • Context:The Supreme Court declined a request to urgently list and hear a plea to verify Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with electronic voting machines (EVMs) before the counting of votes.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) informed the court that the directions in an April 2019 judgment were already being followed as regards the verification.
  • The ECI was referring to a 2019 verdict of the top court which had directed the poll body to increase the physical counting of VVPAT slips to five random EVMs in each Assembly segment/constituency.
  • Earlier, only the VVPAT slips from one EVM in every Assembly segment/constituency was subjected to physical verification.
  • Scrutiny of votes polled through five EVMs was enough to ensure that an election was “fool-proof”, the court had concluded in its April verdict.


Supreme Court Verdict: April 2019

  • In the recent past, the Supreme Court ordered mandatory verification of printed VVPATpaper slips of 5 randomly selected polling stations of
  • (a) Assembly Constituency in case of election to State Legislative Assembly and
  • (b) each Assembly Segment in case of election to the House of the People.
  • In case a candidate or election agent disputes the announced results of any polling station(s), they can seek scrutiny of VVPAT slips under Section 56-D.
  • The provision states that after the entries made in the result sheet are announced, any candidate, or in his absence, his election agent or any of his counting agents may apply in writing to the returning officer to count the printed paper slips in the drop box of the printer in respect of any polling station or polling stations.
  • On such application being made, the returning officer shall, subject to such general or special guidelines, as may be issued by the Election Commission, decide the matter and may allow the application in whole or in part or may reject in whole, if it appears to him to be frivolous or unreasonable.
  • The returning officer’s decision has to be in writing and must contain the reasons for accepting or rejecting the request.
  • If any discrepancy between the votes displayed on the control unit and the counting of the paper slips is detected, the slip count prevails and accordingly, the results are amended and announced after following the set procedures.
  • There have been 16 such instances of slip counting since 2017. In all cases, it was a 100% match of EVM results and VVPAT slips.

Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)

  • VVPAT device functions like a printer to be attached to the ballot unit (EVM -Electronic Voting Machine).
  • It allows the voter to verify if their vote has indeed gone to the intended candidate or not.
  • When the voter presses the button against the name of the candidate of his choice on the Ballot Unit, the VVPAT unit generates a paper slip, called Ballot Slip.
  • This paper slip contains the name, serial number and symbol of the chosen candidate.
  • The voter can see this slip through a screened window where it stays for seven seconds, and then it automatically gets cut and falls down into a sealed drop box.
  • In this process, the slip will not go into the hands of the voter nor will others be able to see it.
  • For the first time Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with Electronic Voting Machines was used for the Noksen Assembly seat in Tuensang district of Nagaland in September, 2013.


  1. Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN)Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) (TH, pg 14)
  • Context:With Bhutan continuing to sit out the Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) of the sub-regional Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) grouping, a meeting of the other three countries was held to discuss the next steps in operationalising the agreement (pending ratification of the MVA by Bhutan) for the free flow of goods, vehicles and people between them.


Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA)

  • While passenger and cargo vehicles were previously allowed to move over land and enter each other’s territory, the process was long and arduous, involving several levels of procedure for entry.
  • While the framework has been signed among four countries, it is of a bilateral nature in practice, using the principle of reciprocity.
  • That means, for instance, that for every truck Bhutan allows into Nepal, the latter would allow the same number of Bhutanese trucks within its territory.
  • This will also be applied to movement of passenger vehicles, subject to due clearance of immigration requirements by the passengers.

Bhutan’s Opposition

  • The original BBIN MVA was signed by all four countries in June 2015, but after objections in Bhutan over sustainability and environmental concerns, the Bhutanese parliament decided not to endorse the plan.
  • In 2020, Bhutan had said that given Bhutan’s “current infrastructure” and top priority to remaining a “carbon-negative” country, it would not be possible to consider joining the MVA.
  • While the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has supported the project as part of its South Asian Subregional Economic Cooperation programme, the World Bank that has estimated that the implementation of the MVA will potentially see increase in traffic-regional trade within South Asia by nearly 60%, has also announced its interest in supporting infrastructure.

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program

  • The ADB-supported SASEC program was formed in 2001 in response to the request of the four countries of South Asia – Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal – from ADB to assist in facilitating economic cooperation among them.
  • These four countries comprise the South Asia Growth Quadrangle (SAGQ), formed in 1996, as a vehicle for accelerating sustainable economic development through regional cooperation.
  • SASEC countries share a common vision of boosting intraregional trade and cooperation in South Asia, while also developing connectivity and trade with Southeast Asia through Myanmar, to the People’s Republic of China, and the global market.
  • Maldives and Sri Lanka joined SASEC in 2014 and Myanmar in 2017.

Do you know?

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
  • This sub-regional organization came into being in June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration. It is headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • It constitutes seven Member States: five deriving from South Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.


  1. Pal-Dadhvav massacre (IE)

  • Context:On March 7, the Gujarat government marked 100 years of the Pal-Dadhvav killings, calling it a massacre “bigger than the Jallianwala Bagh”.


  • Pal-Dadhvav massacre, which took place on March 7, 1922, is related to the massacre of tribal revolutionaries who fell to the British bullets.
  • Tribals from all the neighbouring had gathered on the banks of river Heir as part of the ‘Eki movement’, led by one Motilal Tejawat.
  • The movement was to protest against the land revenue tax (lagaan) imposed on the peasants by the British and feudal lords.
  • Apart from the land revenue system, tribals also protested against laws related to Jagirdar and Rajwada imposed by the British rulers
  • Traditional ‘Ger’ folk dance and music of Gujarat has stories built around Pal-Dadhvav massacre


  1. Credit Rating Agencies in India (TH, pg 16)

  • Context: Rating agency ICRA has warned of serious downside risks to the economy next fiscal with runaway current account deficit (CAD) steep fall in the rupee and hardening yields on government bonds, as a result of the Russian-Ukraine crisis and the resultant spike in crude and other commodity prices.


  • A credit rating agency (CRA) assesses an entity’s creditworthiness in general terms or relating to particular debt or financial obligation.
  • These agencies help lenders and investors determine the potential risk involved in lending money to a particular borrowing entity and gauge the entity’s repayment ability based on its past credit behaviour.
  • SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) authorizes and regulates all credit rating agencies in India as per the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992.
  • Credit rating agencies assess and assign credit ratings to the following entities- including individuals, companies, state governments, countries, non-profit organisations, local government bodies, securities and special purpose entities.
  • Several factors such as financial statements, type and level of debt, lending and borrowing history, debt repayment ability, past credit repayment behaviour, etc. are taken into consideration before assigning a rating to a particular entity.

Purpose of credit ratings

  • Credit ratings provide additional inputs to help lenders/ investors and financial institutions analyse and take informed lending/ investment decisions.
  • Credit ratings that are assigned to entities also serve as a benchmark for financial market regulations.
  • Credit ratings are generally expressed using a letter-based system or alphanumeric system with symbols, for example A-, AA+, AAA, A1+, A1-
  • A good credit rating indicates a higher credit worthiness and lower risk of default for the lender/ investor and can thus help the borrowing entity access funds more easily and on better terms such as a reasonable rate of interest.
  • There are seven credit rating agencies in India including that are authorised by SEBI to assess credit ratings:
  • ICRA
  • CARE
  • India Ratings and Research Pvt Ltd
  • Acuite Ratings & Research
  • Brickwork Ratings India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Infomerics Valuation and Rating Pvt. Ltd.
  • Note: CRISIL (estb. 1987) is one of the oldest credit rating agencies in India.

Do you know?

  • Credit ratings are usually expressed as letter grades like AA+, AAA etc whereas Credit score is a 3-digit number ranging between 300 to 900.
  • Credit scores usually help determine the creditworthiness of individuals and are calculated on the basis of the credit history found in the credit report.
  • Credit scores are computed by four major credit bureaus in India including TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF Highmark.
  • Note: A credit score closer to 900 is generally considered to be a good score.


Do you know?

  • The Ministry of Labour & Employment, has been operating the “Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP)” and “National Safety Awards (NSA)” since 1965 and National Safety Awards (Mines) [NSA (Mines)] since 1983.
  • The right to establish an educational institution is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

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