Facts in News

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    Indian Economy

    Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

    Syllabus: GS3/ Indian Economy & related issues

    In News

    • Recently, the Finance Minister chaired the 24th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC).

    About

    • The meeting deliberated on the various mandates of the FSDC, Financial Stability, Financial Sector Development, Inter-regulatory Coordination, Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion.
    • The Council also discussed issues relating to the management of stressed assets, strengthening institutional mechanism for financial stability analysis, financial inclusion, framework for resolution of financial institutions and internationalization of Indian Rupee and pension sector related issues.

    Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

    • It is a non-statutory apex council under the Ministry of Finance constituted by the Executive Order in 2010. 
    • The Raghuram Rajan Committee (2008) on financial sector reforms first proposed the creation of FSDC.

    Composition of FSDC:

    • Chairperson: The Union Finance Minister of India.
    • Members: Governor Reserve Bank of India (RBl), Finance Secretary and/ or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance.
    • Other members include the Chairman of SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA and IBBI
    • The FSDC Sub Committee is Chaired by the Governor of the RBI.
    • All the members of the FSDC are also members of the Sub-committee.

    Aims and Objectives: 

    • To strengthen and institutionalise the mechanism of maintaining financial and macroeconomic stability.
    • Financial literacy & literacy.
    • Coordinating India’s international interface with financial sector bodies such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Financial Stability Board (FSB).

     

    Health

    Mu variant of COVID-19

    Syllabus: GS2/ Health

    In News

    • The WHO has classified a new Mu variant of COVID-19 as a variant of interest (VOI).

    About

    • Mu variant was first found in Colombia in January 2021 and has been found in about 39 countries so far.
    • There have been few reported cases of the Mu variant and some larger outbreaks have been reported from countries in South America and in Europe.

    Other Variants

    • The four other variants of interest are Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda.

    Variant of Interest

    • The designation as a “variant of interest” means that the genetic changes involved are predicted or known to affect transmissibility, disease severity, or immune escape.
    • It is also an acknowledgement of the fact that the variant has caused significant community transmission in multiple countries and population groups.

    Other Variant categories include

    • The variant of Concern (VOC) is defined as “A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), a significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.
    • A variant of high consequence: It has clear evidence that prevention measures or medical countermeasures have significantly reduced effectiveness relative to previously circulating variants.

    How do variants of a virus emerge?

    • Variants of a virus have one or more mutations that differentiate them from the other variants that are in circulation. 
    • While most mutations are deleterious for the virus, some make it easier for the virus to survive.
    • Essentially, the goal of the virus is to reach a stage where it can cohabitate with humans because it needs a host to survive. 
    • This means, any virus is likely to become less severe as it keeps evolving, but in this process, it can attain some mutations that may be able to escape the body’s immune response or become more transmissible.

    Source: TH

     

    Agriculture & Economic Development

    International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

    Syllabus: GS2/ International Institutions/ GS3, Agriculture, Issues of Buffer Stocks & Food Security

    In News

    • Recently, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has made the commitment to focus 30 per cent of its climate finance to support nature-based solutions in rural small-scale agriculture by 2030.

    About

    • Ahead of coming to IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, IFAD calls for more investment to protect biodiversity.
    • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress is organised every four years and is one of the biggest of its kind for biodiversity.

    International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

    About:

    • It is a specialized international financial institution of the United Nations working in the field of poverty eradication in the rural areas of developing countries.
    • It was established in 1977 and made engagement in providing grants and loans with low interest for allied projects.

    HQ: 

    • Rome, Italy

    Objectives:

    • To increase the productive capacity of poor people.
    • To increase benefits for them from market participation.
    • To strengthen the environmental sustainability & climate resilience of their economic activities.

    Member states:

    • IFAD has 177 member states and works in partnership with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 
    • India is also a member country.

    Presence In India

    • IFAD has been working in India since 1979. 
    • In India, IFAD is working at the grass-roots level, targeting its activities to the poorest and most vulnerable groups in rural society, such as small-scale and marginal farmers, women, tribal communities and scheduled castes.

    Flagship publications:

    • Rural Development Report
    • IFAD at a glance
    • Investing in rural people in India
    • Addressing Hunger and Poverty: 30 years of IFAD’s Development Partnership in India
    • Images of Tribal Development in India

    Source: DTE

     

    India and Foreign relations

    Durand Line

    Syllabus: GS2/ Foreign Affairs

    In News

    • Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told in media that Afghans oppose the fence erected by Pakistan along the Durand Line.

    Durand Line

    • It is the 2,670-kilometre-long international land border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    • The agreement regarding this was signed on November 12, 1893, between the British civil servant Sir Henry Mortimer Durand and Amir Abdur Rahman, then the Afghan ruler.
    • The line cut through Pashtun tribal areas on both sides of the border.
    • The line stretches from Afghanistan’s border with China to Afghanistan’s border with Iran.
    • With independence in 1947, Pakistan inherited the Durand Line.

    Image Courtesy: IE

    Source: IE