MICS CURRENT AFFAIRS 21st JAN 2018

1 . Milk  production  increased  to  165.4  million  tonnes  in  2016-17

  • Since last 20 years, India continues to be the largest milk producer in the world .
  • Milk production, which was around 17-22 million tonnes in the 1960s, increased to 165.4 million tonnes during 2016-17.
  • Similarly, per capita availability has increased to 355 grams in 2016-17.
  • In the last 3 years, with the annual growth rate of 6.3%, India has outpaced global milk production where it has grown by 2.1%.
Growth is also demand driven

Factors such as increased consumer interest in high protein diets and increasing awareness & availability of value-added dairy products through organised retail chains are also driving its demand. During the last 15 years, Milk Cooperatives have converted about 20% of milk procured into traditional and value-added products that offer about 20% higher revenue. This share of value-added products is estimated to increase to 30% by 2021-22.

Initiatives taken by Government to increase milk production

1 . The government started a new initiative called Rashtriya Gokul Mission in December 2014 for the conservation and development of indigenous breeds. Under this scheme, so far proposals worth Rs.1,348 crore from 28 states have been approved and Rs.503 crore has been released.

2 . Among other initiatives, Rashritya Gokul Mission also includes setting up of Gokul Gram. These Gokul Grams will act as Centres for development of indigenous breeds and a dependable source for supply of high genetic breeding. Currently, 18 Gokul Grams are being set up in 12 different states.

3 . Under Rashtriya Gokul Mission, a Rs. 825 crore National Bovine Productivity Mission was initiated in November 2016 with an objective to make the dairy business profitable by increasing the milk production and productivity.

4 . An e-Pashuhaat portal was created under National Bovine Productivity Mission, which plays an important role in linking milk producers with breeders.

5. For the conservation of indigenous breeds two National Kamdhenu Breeding Centres in – one in Chintaladevi, Nellore in the Southern region and one in Itarsi, Hoshangabad in the Northern region of India are being set up. In these centres, 41 cattle and 13 buffalo breeds would be conserved.

6 . World Bank funded National Dairy Plan Phase I is being implemented by NDDB in coordination with the respective state governments and Cooperative Institutions/State Dairy Federations.

 

2 . India’s fiscal deficit may widen to 3.5% in FY19: Report

India’s fiscal deficit is expected to increase to 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2018-19 but it will not have any material impact on macro stability risks, says a Morgan Stanley report.

As per the report, fiscal deficit target may widen to 3.5 per cent of GDP in 2018-19 from 3.4 per cent in 2017-18. However, “the mix will still be favourable and hence we don’t expect macro stability risks to arise”, the financial services firm said in the report.

 

Fiscal Deficit

A fiscal deficit occurs when a government’s total expenditures exceed the revenue that it generates, excluding money from borrowings. Deficit differs from debt, which is an accumulation of yearly deficits.

Fiscal deficit = Total expenditure – Total revenue (excluding borrowings)
Cause of Fiscal Deficit

Generally fiscal deficit takes place either due to revenue deficit or a major hike in capital expenditure. Capital expenditure is incurred to create long-term assets such as factories, buildings and other development.

Fiscal Deficit – Good or Bad

A fiscal deficit is regarded by some as a positive economic event. For example, economist John Maynard Keynes believed that deficits help countries climb out of economic recession. On the other hand, fiscal conservatives feel that governments should avoid deficits in favor of a balanced budget policy.

How can the Fiscal Deficit be reduced ?

The obvious way to reduce a budget deficit is to cut government spending. However this kind of fiscal tightening can cause lower economic growth, which in turn can cause a higher deficit as the government gets less tax revenue in a recession.

 

3 . India joins Australia Group

After gaining entry into two export control regimes – MTCR and Wassenaar, India has joined the Australia Group (AG), which seeks to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons.

On 19 January 2018 India formally became the 43rd member of the Australia Group (AG), the cooperative and voluntary group of countries working to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) by states or terrorist groups

India is now a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Wassenaar Arrangement and now the Australia Group, three of four non-proliferation regimes. The only one remaining is the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which is stonewalled due Chinese objections.

India joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 2016 and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) last year.

What is  Australian Group?

Australian Group is a cooperative and voluntary group of countries working to counter the spread of materials, equipment and technologies that could contribute to the development or acquisition of chemical and biological weapons by states or terrorist groups.

It was  established in 1985  to help member countries to identify those exports which need to be controlled so as not to contribute to the spread of chemical and biological weapons.With the incorporation of India on January 19, 2018, it now has 43 members.

What is  Multilateral export control regime?

A Multilateral Export Control Regime is an international body that states use to organize their national export control systems.

There are currently four such regimes:

1 . The Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.
2 . The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), for the control of nuclear related technology.
3 . The Australia Group (AG) for control of chemical and biological technology that could be weaponized.
4 . The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) for the control of rockets and other aerial vehicles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.