Essential Facts (Prelims): 16 and 17 January, 2019

Essential Facts for Prelims – CSE 2019. Daily Compilation of Important Factual Information from Relevant News Sources for Civil Services Prelims Exam (UPSC)


  • Around 35,000 Bru refugees living in relief camps in Tripura.
  • Thousands of Bru refugees from Mizoram had fled to Tripura during ethnic violence in 1997.

Police Chiefs

  • The Supreme Court rejected the pleas made by five States to implement their own local laws for selection and appointment of their State police chiefs.
  • .In July 2018, the Supreme Court restrained State governments from appointing DGPs without first consulting the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • The State government concerned has to send UPSC the names of the probables three months before the incumbent DGP is to retire.
  • The UPSC will prepare a panel of three officers fit to be DGP and send it back.
  • The State shall “immediately” appoint one of the persons shortlisted by the UPSC.


The National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) scheme has been given an additional allocation of ₹6,084 crore to tide over the next three months. This lifts the total allocation to MGNREGA for 2018-19 to ₹61,084 crore, which is the highest ever allocation.


  • In a bid to improve ease of doing business, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to liberalise external commercial borrowing (ECB) norms, allowing all companies that are eligible for receiving foreign direct investment, to raise funds through the ECB route.
  • The RBI has decided to keep the minimum average maturity period at 3 years for all ECBs, irrespective of the amount of borrowing. Earlier, the minimum average maturity period was five years.
  • The ceiling for borrowing remains at $750 million.
  • RBI had capped funds raised via ECBs at 6.5% of GDP, at current market prices.

Exim Bank

  • The Cabinet o approved an infusion of ₹6,000 crore of capital in the Exim Bank of India.
  • The Cabinet also approved an increase in the authorised capital of Exim Bank from ₹10,000 crore to ₹20,000 crore.
  • The capital infusion would enable the bank to augment its capital adequacy and support Indian exports.

e commerce

  • The rules mandate that no entity in which an e-commerce company has stake can sell its wares on that e-commerce company’s portal.
  • Any vendor who receives 25% or more of its inputs from an e-commerce group company cannot sell on that e-commerce portal.

Gandhi Peace Prize

  • After a gap of four years, the Centre announced the awardees for the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015 to 2018.
  • The Gandhi Peace Prize, which is given to individuals and institutions for their contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods, was last conferred upon the Indian Space Research Organisation in 2014.
  • This is the first time that the awardees of four years have been announced together ever since the award was instituted in 1995.
  • As per the code of procedure on the Ministry of Culture’s website, the award should ideally be announced on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2, each year.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, a citation and a handicraft item.
  • The International Gandhi Peace Prize was instituted by the government on the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and is open to people of all nationalities.


  • Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is a composite indicator that measures changes in the volume of production of a basket of industrial products over a period of time, with respect to a chosen base period.
  • It is compiled and published monthly by the CSO with a time lag of six weeks from the reference month.
  • The all-India IIP provides a single representative figure to measure the general level of industrial activity in the economy on a monthly basis.
  • On the whole, the new series had 809 items from the manufacturing sector as against 620 from the old 2004-05 series.
  • ASI is the main source of long term industrial statistics while the IIP is a monthly indicator based on items and factories selected from ASI.
  • IIP is based on a fixed set of items and factories chosen in the base period whereas the ASI is a record-based survey of establishments registered under the Factories Act, 1948 in which the sampling frame and the sampled establishments undergo significant changes.
  • ASI captures information of new items and factories whereas the IIP does not.
  • Also, the IIP is based on a much smaller sample of factories as compared to that of ASI.
  • Growth rates in IIP are based on volume of production whereas growth rates in ASI are derived on the basis of Value Added (Output – Input).
  • Further, establishments selected in IIP are generally larger in size whereas ASI establishments cover both large and smaller units. So, the growth rates in IIP are lower as the smaller units that have a thinner base and hence show higher growth


  • The Odisha government has come up with a support scheme whose primary targets are small farmers, cultivators and landless agricultural labourers.
  • Called KALIA, the scheme involves payments to encourage cultivation and associated activities.


  • A small green shoot is growing on the moon in an out-of-this-world first after cotton seed germinated on board a Chinese lunar lander.
  • This is the first time humans have done biological growth experiments on the lunar surface.


‘Saksham’, an annual high intensity one-month long people-centric mega campaign of Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA) under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has been launched.


  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, has given its approval to the project for capacity expansion of Numaligarh Refinery in Assam from 3 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) to 9 MMTPA.
  • It involves setting up of crude oil pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh and product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri.