1) Aatmanirbhar in defence production: India ranks fourth among 12 Indo-Pacific nations in self-reliant arms production capabilities, according to a study released this month by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
- The 12 countries in the study were selected because they have the highest military spending in the region.
- The study, which measures self-reliance until 2020, is based on three indicators of self-reliance in each country: Arms procurement, Arms industry, Uncrewed maritime vehicles
- China tops the list, Japan is second, South Korea is in third place, and Pakistan is number 8.
- India is ranked as the second-largest importer of arms for its armed forces in 2016-20.
- Of India’s total volume of procurement in 2016–20, 84 per cent was of foreign origin
2) Panel to study the status of Dalits post-conversion: the government has set up a 3 member commission headed by former CJI K.G Balakrishnan to study the possibility of according SC status to Dalits who have converted to religions other than Buddhism and Sikhism.
- The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 provides that only those belonging to Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist communities can be categorised as SCs.
- Originally it was limited to only Hindus. However subsequent amendments in 1956 and 1990 included Sikhs and Buddhists
3) E-rupee pilot: e-rupee is akin to sovereign paper currency but in digital form, exchangeable at par with the existing currency and will be accepted as a medium of payment, legal tender and a safe store of value.
- e-rupee appears as a liability on a central bank’s balance sheet.
- e-rupee can be structured as ‘token-based’ or ‘account-based’:
- A token-based CBDC: whosoever holds the tokens at a given point in time would be presumed to own them, similar to banknotes. The person receiving a token will verify that his ownership of the token is genuine It is preferred for retail payments.
- An account-based system: would require maintenance of the record of balances and transactions of all holders of the CBDC and indicate the ownership of the monetary balances, similar to Bitcoins. An account-based CBDC, an intermediary verifies the identity of an account holder. More preferred for wholesale payments.
4) Agri-credit societies to be set up in all panchayats: The co-operation ministry is working on a plan to set up multi-purpose PACS in panchayats over the next five years
- PACS are the ground-level cooperative credit institutions that provide short-term, and medium-term agricultural loans to the farmers for the various agricultural and farming activities. They confers equal rights to all its members without considering their holding of share and their social standing.
- PACS are the lowest unit in a three-tier structure: The other two tiers — State Cooperative Banks (StCB) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB) — have already been automated by the NABARD and brought on the Common Banking Software (CBS).
5) Weapon System branch for officers in the Indian Air Force (IAF): The government has approved the creation of a Weapon System branch for officers in the Indian Air Force (IAF) which will bring all weapon systems operators of the force under one roof.
- This is the first time since Independence that a new operational branch is being created.
- Creation of the new branch would entail unification of all weapon system operators under one entity dedicated to the operational employment of all ground-based and specialist airborne weapon systems.
- This will essentially be for manning of four specialised streams of Surface to Surface missiles, Surface to Air Missiles, Remotely Piloted Aircraft and weapon system operators in twin and multi crew aircraft.
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