Category: Indian Economy
- 11 of the 20 public sector banks in the country are under the RBI’s PCA framework. It
- Under the PCA framework, the RBI has specified certain regulatory trigger points in terms of three parameters — capital to risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR), net non-performing assets (NPA) and Return on Assets (RoA), for initiation of certain structured and discretionary actions in respect of commercial banks hitting such trigger points.
- Currently, banks having negative RoA for certain consecutive years are brought under PCA framework
- The main objective of PCA is to alert the banking regulator (RBI) about a bank heading for trouble.
- It helps RBI take corrective measures to restore financial health of a bank.
Category: General Science
- Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) — mainly cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer — continue to be the top killers in the South-East Asia Region.
- The four ‘major’ NCDs are caused, to a large extent, by four modifiable behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, unhealthy diet, insufficient physical activity and harmful use of alcohol.
- The NCDs disproportionately affect the poor, impoverish families, and place a growing burden on health care systems.
- Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people.
Category: General Science
- In a significant find in the global spread of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, scientists have found a “superbug” gene — first detected in over a decade back — in one of the last “pristine” places on Earth that is some 12,870 km away.
- Soil samples taken in Svalbard — a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole — have now confirmed the spread of blaNDM-1 (called New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1) into the High Arctic.
- Carried in the gut of animals and people, the new research said that blaNDM-1 was found in Arctic soils that were likely spread through the faecal matter of birds, other wildlife and human visitors to the area.
Category: Science & Technology
- Genetically modified chickens that produce human proteins in their eggs can offer a cost-effective method of manufacturing drugs widely used for treating cancer and other diseases.
- High quantities of the proteins can be recovered from each egg using a simple purification system and there are no adverse effects on the chickens themselves, which lay eggs as normal.
- Eggs are already used for growing viruses that are used as vaccines, such as the flu jab.
- This new approach is different because the therapeutic proteins are encoded in the chicken’s DNA and produced as part of the egg white.
- A lone duck named Trevor that lived on the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue has died.
- One of the world’s biggest coral islands, Niue does not have natural ponds or wetlands.
Category : Environment
- There are 139 Indian cities that breach air pollution standards but are not included in the Centre’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
- The NCAP was launched by the government earlier this month and is a ₹300 crore initiative to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.
- Suman Kumari is Pakistan’s first Hindu woman judge.
- The country’s first judge from the Hindu community was Justice Rana Bhagwandas.
- Assam announced the success of the Golden Langur Conservation Breeding Programme in the State.
- In April 2018, the zoo authorities shifted a pair of golden langurs — Bolin and Lovely — from the display enclosure to the isolated site.
- The golden langur (Trachypithecus geei) is currently endangered.
- Apart from a small area in north-western Assam, small populations are found in Bhutan and Tripura.
Price support scheme
Category: Indian Economy
- The Centre has procured 52.83 lakh tonnes of pulses and oilseeds so far under the price support scheme (PSS).
- The PSS is operationalised on the State governments’ request when the prices fall below the minimum support price (MSP).
- The procurement is undertaken by nodal agencies such as Nafed at the MSP.
- Only fair average quality commodities are purchased.
Category : Biodiversity
- First captive elephant survey is in: 2,454 is official count
- 58 per cent of all captive elephants is concentrated in two states: 905 in Assam and 518 in Kerala.
Category: Education, International Institutions
- India ends PISA boycott, signs pact with OECD.
- PISA — introduced in 2000 by OECD — tests the learning levels of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science.
- The test is conducted every three years.
- India stayed away from PISA in 2012 and 2015 on account of its dismal performance in 2009, when it was placed 72nd among the 74 participating countries.
- The then government had blamed “out of context” questions for the poor show in 2009.
- The country, subsequently, chose to not participate in the 2012 and 2015 cycle