Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 01.11.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 01.11.21

Daily Current Affairs (MCQ) | Date 01.11.21

Q. The Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) can help in achieving following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

1.Ending Poverty
2. Zero Hunger
3. Gender Equality

Select the correct answer from the codes given below

a. 1 only
b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only
d. 1, 2 and 3

Answer : d

Why is the Question ?

Q. Consider the following statements

1. In well of states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) remains underutilized
2. Rural consumption plays a vital role in stimulating the economy

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

Underestimated utility
The lowered outlay for rural guarantee schemes has led to used up allocation and wage delays

1. That as many as 21 of 35 States/UTs have utilised, by October, over 100% of their allocated funds under the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for FY2021-22 is not a surprise.
2. MGNREGS was a life-saver for the poor, especially migrant labourers, following the
sudden lockdown announced by the Union government.
3. By October end, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh had utilised
more than 130% of their respective allocations for the scheme, indicating the extent to which rural workers depend on the scheme even in relatively better-off States.
4. Clearly, the Union government has underestimated the demand for work under the
scheme, which even if it involves arduous and menial labour has accounted for a large chunk of rural employment at a time when the economy suffered a steep contraction due to the effects of the pandemic.

Utility of MGNREGA
1. The utility of MGNREGS as a scheme that alleviates distress has never been in question.
From acting as an effective substitute in the absence of crop and weather insurance in
aiding poor farm households and helping to provide wages during agrarian crises, to be an
avenue for employment during the economic crisis induced by the pandemic and the
response, MGNREGS has turned out to be a salve for farmworkers and labourers.
2. Delays in wage payments could also result in a decline in rural consumption, which plays a vital role in stimulating the economy. Besides the scheme’s utility in distress, it also has the potential, if works are upgraded suitably, to continue to improve rural development and
3. The Union Government must consider this during allocations and not be conservative in its outlay or remain unmindful of the overall potential.

Row over caste split of MGNREGA wage
1. For poor villagers in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district, a good Deepavali depends on their wages from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
scheme. So tensions ran high when some got paid faster than others for work done over the
last six months.
2. “These are people who did the work together, at the same worksite, for the same number of days. They were all on the same muster roll. But those from SC/ST [Scheduled Castes and Tribes] got paid within 15-20 days. Those from other communities had to wait two months.
3.Similar concerns have been raised by grassroots activists and union leaders in several states, including Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, after a Central directive on March 2 this year to split the MGNREGA budget for wage payments along
caste lines.
4. The Social Justice Ministry and several State governments warned of “dissension”, “backlash” and threats to social harmony in villages following the directive.

No time-bound pacts on climate change at G20 India pushed for “safeguarding the interests of the developing world” as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the G-20 summit at sessions on climate change and sustainable development.
1. No time-bound agreements were reached as leaders of the world’s top economies ended the summit in Rome, recommitting to providing $100 billion a year to counter climate change, and pushing for greater vaccine equality to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. G-20 countries also committed to ending international financing for all new coal plants by
the end of 2021 but made no mention of domestic commitments on ending coal power generation.
3. The final communique, agreed upon after negotiations overnight, spoke only of the “key 
relevance of achieving global net zero” on carbon emissions “by or around mid-century”.
4. Amongst the other highlights of the statement was a decision to pursue the recognition of
more vaccines by the World Health Organization under a “One Health approach” for the world, and providing finances and technology for vaccine production at “mRNA Hubs” in South Africa, Brazil and Argentina, and to mobilise more international public-private financing for “green” projects.
5. Climate negotiators from the U.S., EU and U.K. had made a number of visits to Delhi over the past few months, pressing for India to update its commitments (NDCs) to include its target of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, and to set a date for ending the use of coal in power plants.

‘Informal sector shrank sharply in 2020-21’
Signalling a greater shift towards formalisation of the economy, the share of the large informal sector in overall economic activity dipped sharply in 2020- 21 even as informal workers continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s adverse effects, the SBI said in a research report.

Increasing share of formal Employment
1. Concluding that the share of the informal economy may have shrunk to no more than 20% of the economic output from about 52% in 2017- 18, SBI group chief economic adviser Soumya Kanti Ghosh termed this “a positive development” amid the pandemic.
2. There are wide variations in the formalisation levels in different sectors but the SBI estimated that the informal economy is possibly at a maximum of 15% to 20% of formal GDP in 2020- 21.
3. An IMF policy paper earlier this year estimated that the share of India’s informal economy in the Gross Value Added (GVA) was at 53.9% in 2011- 12 and improved only marginally to 52.4% in 2017-18.

4. As per a National Sample Survey (NSS) of 2014, around 93% of the workforce earned their livelihoods as informal workers.
5. The informal sector consists of “own-account” or unorganised enterprises employing hired
workers, with the highest share of such unorganised activity being in agriculture where holdings are small and fragmented.
Agriculture takes a hit
1. The SBI projections suggest that the informal agriculture sector has shrunk from 97.1% of the sector’s GVA in 2017-18 to just 70%-75% in 2020-21, driven by the increased penetration of credit through Kisan credit cards.
2. Real estate has also seen a significant dip in informal activity from 52.8% in 2017-18 to 20%- 25% last year. The report estimated that about ₹1.2 lakh crore of cash usage has been formalised since the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Formal agriculture credit flows have grown ₹4.6 lakh crore between 2017-18 and 2020-21, with 
digital payments for petrol and diesel rising around ₹1 lakh crore in the same period.

Q. Indus Dolphin is the state animal of

a. Haryana
b. Jammu and Kashmir
c. Punjab
d. Uttarakhand

Answer : c

Why is the Question ?

Punjab does a deep dive for Indus dolphins
1. The census of one of the world’s most threatened cetaceans, the Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) — a freshwater dolphin that is found in river Beas, is all set to
commence in the winter as part of a project by the Centre.

2. However, Punjab’s wildlife preservation wing has gone a step ahead to not only protect the dolphins but also their natural habitat.
3. The Indus river dolphin is classified as endangered by the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and, until recently, it was believed that these dolphins were endemic to Pakistan.
4. But in 2007, a remnant but viable population of Indus dolphins were discovered in Punjab’s Harike wildlife sanctuary and in the lower Beas river.
5.Since its discovery, research is being done by Punjab’s Department of Forests and Wildlife
Preservation in partnership with WWF-India on the current distribution, habitat use and
population abundance of the mammal.
6. The Indus river dolphin was declared the State aquatic animal of Punjab in 2019.