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Current Affairs 4th April 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam

Current Affairs 4th April 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Context: The information on PM-DevINE was given by Minister for Development of North Eastern Region, in the Lok Sabha.

About PM-DevINE

  • The Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE) is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% Central funding, announced in the year 2022.
  • The parameters of NE States in terms of Basic Minimum Services (BMS) are well below the national average and there are critical development gaps as per the NER District Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index 2021-22. Hence PM-DevINE was announced to address these BMS shortfalls and development gaps.
  • Implementation:  Scheme will be implemented by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) through the North Eastern Council or Central Ministries/ agencies.
  • Objectives of PM-DevINE
    • Fund infrastructure convergently, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti.
    • Support social development projects based on felt needs of the NER.
    • Enable livelihood activities for youth and women.
    • Fill the development gaps in various sectors.
  • Features
    • Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 6,600 crore for the 4 year period from 2022-23 to 2025-26.
    • PM-DevINE Scheme projects will lead to creation of infrastructure, social development projects, support industries and create livelihood activities for youth and women, thus leading to income and employment generation.
    • Most parts of the scheme will be implemented through Engineering-procurement-Construction (EPC) basis, to limit construction risks of time and cost overrun.
  • Other initiatives for development of NE region
    • 10% of the Annual Plan Budget of 52 Ministries of the Union Government is earmarked every year for spending in NER.
    • North East Venture Fund was set up with an initial corpus of Rs. 100 crore and it targets to invest in Start-Ups and unique business opportunities to provide resources for new entrepreneurships.
    • Science & Technology Interventions in the North East Region (STINER) – to bring in the latest and advanced technologies to the North-Eastern region to help the women farmers and other artisans living there.
    • NER District Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Index aims at delineating progress at the district level on a basket of indicators and enhancing analytical understanding of sectoral issues as well as data gaps, while assisting in designing future courses of action in the region.

Current Affairs 3rd April 2023 for UPSC Prelims Exam


Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

Context: S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for March was released.

More on the News:

  • India PMI rose from 55.3 in February to 56.4 in March.
  • It is driven by resilience in demand, growth in factory orders and easing input cost pressure.
    • However, PMI average for the January-March period was 55.7, lower than 56.3 in the previous quarter.
    • Overall level of positive sentiment slipped to an eight-month low due to concerns surrounding competitiveness and general inflation.

About Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)

  • It is an indicator of business activity — both in the manufacturing and services sectors.
  • It is a survey-based measure that asks the respondents about changes in their perception of some key business variables from the month before.
  • The index is compiled by S&P Global from responses to questionnaires sent to purchasing managers in a panel of around 400 manufacturers.
  • Calculation of PMI: It is indicated by a number from 0 to 100.
    • A reading above 50 indicates an overall expansion compared to the previous month and a print below 50 shows an overall decrease.

Significance of PMI

  • It provides a reliable expectation of how an economy is doing as a whole — and manufacturing in particular.
  • Central banks use the PMI to make decisions on interest rates.
  • A good reading of PMI enhances the attractiveness of an economy vis-a-vis other competing economies.


Sovereign Credit Rating

Context: Centre Government has been proactively engaging with prominent global credit rating agencies to improve India’s sovereign credit rating.

About Sovereign Credit Rating

  • A sovereign credit rating is an independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country or sovereign entity.
  • A good sovereign credit rating is usually essential for developing countries that want access to funding in international bond markets.
  • Sovereign credit risk, which is reflected in sovereign credit ratings, represents the likelihood that a government might be unable—or unwilling—to meet its debt obligations in the future.

Significance of Credit Rating

  • Attract foreign direct investment (FDI):  Many countries seek ratings from the largest and most prominent credit rating agencies to encourage investor confidence.
  • Investor Confidence: It can give investors insights into the level of risk associated with investing in the debt of a particular country, including any political risk.
  • Growth Potential: Rating Outlooks indicate the direction the rating is likely to move over a one- to two-year period.
Current India’s Sovereign Credit Rating
Current India’s Sovereign Credit Rating

Current India’s Sovereign Credit Rating

  • S&P and Fitch rate India ‘BBB-‘ and Moody’s ‘Baa3’, all indicative of the lowest-possible investment grade, but with a stable outlook.
    • S&P includes long-term ratings from the highest AAA to the lowest D rating.
    • Moody’s includes long-term ratings from the highest Aaa to the lowest C.
    • Fitch includes long-term ratings from the highest AAA to the lowest D rating.
  • According to Moody’s, principal credit challenges for India include low per capita income, high general government debt, low debt affordability and limited government effectiveness.

Way Forward

  • Effective implementation of fiscal policy measures that resulted in a sustained decline in the government’s debt burden and improvements in debt affordability would also support the credit profile.
    • India aims to cut its fiscal deficit to 5.9% of GDP next fiscal year, from the 6.4% target for the current year that ends March 31, and to further reduce that to 4.5% in the next three years.
  • Debt-To-GDP Ratio: According to Fitch, India’s government debt-to-GDP ratio is likely to stabilise at around 82 per cent over the next five years.
    • In the pandemic year 2020-21 India’s debt-to-GDP ratio jumped to 89.6 per cent. It is estimated to fall to 84.5 per cent in 2021-22.
    • Fast economic growth will be key to the stabilisation of the debt ratio in the absence of swifter deficit reduction.


Ice Core

Context: Arctic scientists are set to start drilling to save samples of ancient ice for analysis before the frozen layers melt away due to climate change.

About Ice Cores

  • Ice cores are cylinders of ice drilled out of an ice sheet or glacier.
  • Most ice core records come from Antarctica and Greenland, and the longest ice cores extend to 3km in depth.
  • The oldest continuous ice core records to date extend 123,000 years in Greenland and 800,000 years in Antarctica.
  • Analysis of chemicals in deep “ice cores” provides scientists with valuable data about past environmental conditions.

Ice Cores and Climate Change

  • Ice cores contain information about past temperature, and about many other aspects of the environment.
    • Ice encloses small bubbles of air that contain a sample of the atmosphere – from these it is possible to measure directly the past concentration of atmospheric gases, including the major greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
  • They provide direct evidence that the climate can change abruptly under some circumstances.
  • However, they provide no direct analogue for the future because the ice core era contains no periods with concentrations of CO2 comparable to those of the next century.

Increasing Greenhouse Gas Concentration

  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are now 50% higher than before the industrial revolution. This increase is due to fossil fuel usage and changes in land-use.
  • Human-caused carbon emissions have warmed the planet by 1.1 degrees Celsius since the 19th century.
    • Studies indicate that the Arctic is warming between two and four times faster than the global average.
  • Half of the Earth’s 215,000 mountain glaciers are expected to disappear by the end of this century due to climate change caused by humans — even if the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is reached.


Dial-up Internet Connection

Context: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said that the last dial-up Internet connection was switched off in India in March 2021.

About Dial-Up Internet

  • This internet works by establishing a dial-up connection between computer and the ISP server using a modem.
  • Speed: Dial-up internets were theoretically capable of reaching a maximum speed of 56 kilobits per second. It is usually very slow.
  • Working: The dial-up connection works by dialing a phone number on the computer and thus requires a telephone connection.
    • The modem will set up a dial-up connection, which works as interference between the computer and the telephone line.
    • Either the internet connection or telephone can be used at a time.
About Dial-Up Internet
About Dial-Up Internet

Other types of Internet Connection


  • Broadband provides connection through either cable or telephone composition. It does not require any telephone connection and hence telephone and internet connection can be used simultaneously.
  • More than one person can use internet connection at a time.


  • Digital Subscriber Line provides broadband internet connection through the telephone line (network).  There is no need to dial a phone number to connect.
  • DSL makes use of a router to transport data and the connection speed range between 128k to 8Mbps.

Cable Connection

  • This form of broadband can provide extremely fast access to the internet. Internet connection is provided using a cable modem and operates over cable TV lines.
  • The speed varies between 512k to 20Mbps.
Cable Connection
Cable Connection

Satellite Internet

  • It provides accesses to internet via a satellite that is in Earth’s orbit. The signal has to travel from a long distance from earth to satellite and back again, leading to a delayed connection.
  • This is mainly suitable for rural areas where a broadband connection is yet to reach.
Satellite Internet
Satellite Internet

Wireless Connection

  • It makes use of a radio frequency band to connect to the internet.
  • It is an always-on connection and can be accessed from anywhere and speed may vary for different locations.
Wireless Connection
Wireless Connection

Cellular Connection

  • It provides Internet access through cell phones. Speed varies depending on the service provider.
  • The most common are 3G, 4G and 5G which means 3rd generation, 4th generation and 5th generation.
Cellular Connection
Cellular Connection


  • Integrated Service Digital Network is a circuit-switched telephone network system that provides access to packet-switched networks, transmitting both voice and data over a digital line.
  • It provides better speeds and higher quality than traditional connections.


Advance Pricing Agreement (APA)

Context: State-run GAIL (India) Limited entered into an advance pricing agreement (APA) with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

About APA:

  • The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) programme in India was launched in 2012 vide the Finance Act, 2012 through the insertion of Sections 92CC and 92CD in the Income-tax Act, 1961.
  • It is an agreement between a taxpayer and tax authority determining the transfer pricing methodology for pricing the tax payer’s international transactions for future years.
  • It can be Unilateral, Bilateral APA (BAPA), or Multilateral APA (MAPA).
    • Unilateral APA: An APA that involves only the taxpayer and the tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located.
    • Bilateral APA (BAPA): An APA that involves the taxpayer, associated enterprise (AE) of the taxpayer in the foreign country, tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located, and the foreign tax authority.
    • Multilateral APA (MAPA): An APA that involves the taxpayer, two or more AEs of the taxpayer in different foreign countries, tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located, and the tax authorities of AEs.
  • Benefits: Avoids double taxation, certainty for complex and high-risk transactions, reduces compliance costs, promotes ease of doing business etc.
Advance Pricing Agreement
Advance Pricing Agreement

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)

  • It is a statutory authority that functions under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
  • It is a part of the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance.
  • It provides inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for the administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department.
  • Direct Taxes include income tax, corporation tax etc.


India’s Refugee Policy

Context: A Central government scheme to provide financial assistance to Hindu and Sikh families who migrated to India from Pakistan after the 1947 partition, has been facing a number of challenges.

About India Refugee Policy

  • India lacks specific legislation to address the problem of refugees. The Foreigners Act, 1946, fails to address the peculiar problems faced by refugees as a class. It also gives unbridled power to the Central government to deport any foreign citizen.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA), controversially grants citizenship only to immigrants from specific religious groups, namely Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis, Sikhs, and Buddhists who have faced persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Muslims are not included under this Act.
  • India is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the key legal documents pertaining to refugee protection.
  • In the case of National Human Rights Commission vs. State of Arunachal Pradesh (1996), the Supreme Court of India ruled that foreign citizens, along with citizens, have the right to equality and the right to life, among other fundamental rights.
India Refugee Policy
India Refugee Policy

UN Refugee Convention, 1951

  • The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was the first comprehensive attempt to define refugees and charted a detailed guideline for host countries to ensure the adequate protection and preservation of the rights of all refugees.
  • It puts out clearly who a refugee is and what kind of assistance, rights and legal protection a refugee is entitled to receive.
  • It also lays down the obligations of refugees towards the host countries.
  • The Convention also specifies certain categories of people, such as war criminals, who do not qualify for refugee status.


Assamese Gamosa

Context: In Assam, a scarf that is a combination of an Assamese Gamosa and a Bengali Gamcha has caused a controversy.

More on the News:

  • The controversy surrounding the scarf is that a newly formed Bangla Sahitya Sabha Assam (BSSA) used a hybrid creation of an Assamese gamosa and a Bengali gamcha to felicitate guests at a function.
  • This hybrid creation, which involved cutting an Assamese gamosa and a Bengali gamcha in half and sewing them together, was seen as an insult to the Assamese gamosa by a section of Assamese society.

Assamese Gamosa:

  • It is generally a white rectangular piece of cloth with primarily a red border on two sides and red woven motifs on the other two sides.
  • Although the cotton yarn is the most common material for making/weaving gamosas, there are special occasion ones made from Pat silk.
  • It is a symbol of the culture and identity of Assam and had received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2022.

Bengali Gamcha:

  • The Bengali gamcha is a traditional cotton towel that is commonly used in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
  • It is usually made of light cotton fabric and is known for its softness and ability to absorb water quickly.
  • The gamcha comes in various sizes and colours, and is often used as a towel, scarf, head covering, and is a popular accessory in Bengali culture often worn by farmers and labourers.
Bengali Gamcha
Bengali Gamcha

About GI Tag

  • Geographical Indication (GI) is an indication used to identify goods having special characteristics originating from a definite geographical territory.
  • It is governed and directed by the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
    • It was decided and also stated under Articles 1 (2) and 10 of the Paris Convention that the protection of industrial Property and Geographical Indication are elements of Intellectual Property.
  • It is primarily an agricultural, natural or a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods).
  • This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.

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