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Blockchain Technology

What is Blockchain ?

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.
Information on the blockchain is always shared and continually reconciled. The record that Blockchain keeps are easily accessable and public. Just like a shared document on Google but a legal one. Meaning Blockchain Technology stores blocks of information across networks, it cannot be controlled by one network alone, it has no single point of failure.

How it works ?

Tax-GDP Ratio (Blast from the Past)

Tax-GDP ratio is an important parameter of changing structure of government revenues and taxation. Economic Growth Rate is the rate at which a nation’s Gross Domestic product (GDP) changes/grows from one year to another. A decrease in tax-GDP ratio would result when the tax revenues grow at a slower rate than the GDP of a country. Thus, an increase in tax-GDP ratio decreases the rate of economic growth.
When income is not equitably distributed, a small section of the society tends to pocket a big chunk of national income. A lower tax-GDP ratio means lower tax revenues to government. Tax revenues to government means equitable distribution of national income.

Highlights of Reforms Measures in the Economic Survey 2016-17 Volume-2 

Agriculture and Food Management Reforms

Managing and reducing the various risks in agriculture activities can make the sector resilient, increase profitability and can ensure stable income flows to the farmers. The following reforms are suggested for increasing productivity in agriculture and allied sector:
·         To address the price risks in agriculture and allied sectors, marketing infrastructure along the entire value chain needs to be built and strengthened.

·         To address production risks, the share of irrigated area should be expanded by increasing the coverage of water saving irrigation systems like micro irrigation systems.

·         To increase productivity of crops, standards should be set and enforced for better quality, pest and disease resistant seeds.

·         Trade and domestic policy changes should be announced well before sowing and should stay till arrivals and procurement is over.

·         To enhance women’s involvement in the dairy projects, funds should be earmarked through appropriate mechanisms.

·         Providing timely and affordable formal and institutional credit to the small and marginal farmers is the key to inclusive growth.

·         Regime based on timely interventions needs to be adopted.


Industry and Infrastructure

·         Railways should go for more non-fare sources along with station redevelopment and commercially exploiting vacant buildings at the station, monetizing land along tracks by leasing out to promote horticulture and tree plantation, and through advertisement and parcel earnings.

·         During the last few years the non-major ports are gaining more share of cargo handling compared to major ports. It is required to develop non-major port and also enhance their efficiency and operational capacity.

·         Reforms such as privatization/ disinvestment of Air India, creation of aviation hubs and reconsidering the 0/20 rule are some suggestions to improve Indian airlines’ share in the international market.


Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development

·         India, is emerging as a knowledge based economy, poised for double digit growth, and needs to strengthen social infrastructure by investing in health and education.

·         The education policies need to be designed with focus on learning outcomes and remedial education with interventions which work and maximize the efficiency of expenditure. There is need for bio-metric attendance of school staff, independent setting of examination papers, neutral examination and for DBT for schools. There is need to adopt outcome measures for the education and skilling activities to ensure improvement in delivery of schemes/ programmes.

·         In order to make the labour market system dynamic and efficient, the government has taken several reforms/initiatives, both legislative as well as technological such as notification of ‘Ease of Compliance to maintain Registers under various Laws Rules, 2017’ and introduction of e-Biz Portal. These registers/forms can also be maintained in a digitized form.

·         Government has been imparting short term skill training through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and long term training through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs). Model Skill Centers are being set up in every district of the country under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra Scheme. The emphasis is on enhancing the quality of skill training programmes and making a competency-based framework with giving individuals an option to progress through education, training, prior learning and experiences.

·         There has to be concerted efforts by the Central and State governments to reform the health sector, by addressing quality issues, standardising rates for diagnostic tests, generating awareness about alternative health systems and introduction of punitive measures like fines on hospitals and private health providers for false claims through surgery, medicines etc. For more equitable access to health services, government should provide health benefits and risk cover to poorer sections of the society.

·         Towards addressing the challenges in health sector, the Government has formulated the National Health Policy, 2017, which aims at attaining the highest level of good health and well-being, through a preventive and promotive health care orientation in all developmental policies, and universal access to good quality health care services, without anyone having to face financial hardship as a consequence.

·         Addressing the social security of large number of vulnerable workers in the informal economy should be prioritized by the Government along with ensuring the safety and security of women to raise their participation in economic activities.

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra (KMY) is known for its religious importance, cultural significance and arduous nature. The trek through high altitudes in freezing temperature entails hard labour and courting danger. The annual pilgrimage holds religious importance for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.

Yatra involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, under inhospitable conditions, including extreme cold and rugged terrain. It may prove hazardous for those who are not physically and medically fit.

Mansarovar Lake is located at an altitude of 14,950 ft (4,558 m) is said to be the highest freshwater lake in the world. It is located in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, 940 kilometres (580 mi) from Lhasa. To the west of it is Lake Rakshastal and to the north is Mount Kailash.

The yatra is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) annually. The Yatra is organized in close cooperation with the Government of the People’s Republic of China. State Governments of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Delhi, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (KMVN) are other major Indian partners of the Ministrny organizing the Yatra.

Crop Harvest Days (Memo-RANDOM)

Sugarcane – over 365 days
Cotton – 180 days
Paddy and Wheat – 130 days
Jowar and Chana – 110 days
Soyabean – 100 days
Best Punjab farmer harvest only 6 tonnes of wheat and 9 tonnes of Paddy per hectare.
However he produces 40 tonnes of Sugarcane in Punjab, 80 tonnes in Maharashtra.
Wherein he also produces 15-16 tonnes of fodder, i.e. the extra grass in Sugarcane.

Estimates Committee Fact

Any change in the preparation of budget estimates would need the approval of the Estimates Committee. For instance, before firming up Budget 2016-17, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance had approached the Estimates Committee inter-alia for (a) approval to change Format of presenting Budget estimates; (b) to merge some Demands for Grants in Budget 2016-17 and (c) power to merge /demerge demand for grants in future without approaching the Estimates Committee. Estimates Committee, vide its report submitted to speaker of the Lok Sabha in January 2016, gave permission on (a) & (b) but denied permission on (c).

Ex-Officio Members of NITI Ayog

The ex-officio members of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Ayog are:

  1. Minister of Home Affairs
  2. Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs
  3. Minister of Railways
  4. Minister of Agriculture and Farmers welfare

In the present government minister of finance and minister of corporate affairs is the same person and NITI Ayog being the maiden body constituted by the present government, hence Minister of Corporate Affairs as an individual option, if asked in the question is also true.

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