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Prelims Booster

17th October – Prelims Booster

Food and Agriculture Organisation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has released commemorative coins of Rs 75 denomination to mark the 75th anniversary of FAO. He also dedicated to the nation, 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of crops.

About Food and Agriculture Organisation –

  • The FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations.
  • Established in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has its headquarters in Rome, Italy
  • It was founded with a goal to provide food security for everyone and assure that people will have access to high-quality food in sufficient quantities to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
  • The FAO has 197 member countries, which includes the European Union as well. It conducts biennial conferences. The FAO Council is the executive arm of the governing body. The members elect the Council which is composed of 49 members.
  • The FAO Council also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021.
  • World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year worldwide on 16 October to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945.

Functions of FAO –

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is a global organisation and its functions can be listed as follows:

  • Helping Governments and Development Agencies coordinate their activities which are targeted to develop and improve agriculture, fisheries, forestry and other water and land resources
  • Conducting research and providing technical assistance to various projects related to improving agricultural output and development.
  • Conducting training and educational programs and also collecting and analysing agricultural data to improve yield and production.
  • The FAO also brings out a number of publications/reports, some of which are, the State of the World, the Global Report on Food Crises, the State of Food and Agriculture, the State of the World’s Forests, etc.

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has paid tributes to the brave Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Ji on his 350th Jayanti.

About Baba Banda Singh Bahadur –

  • Banda Singh Bahadur, also called Lachman Das, Lachman Dev, or Madho Das, (born 1670, Rajauri [India]—died June 1716, Delhi), first Sikh military leader to wage an offensive war against the Mughal rulers of India, thereby temporarily extending Sikh territory.
  • As a youth, he decided to be a samana (ascetic), and until 1708, when he became a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, he was known as Madho Das. After his initiation into the Sikh brotherhood, he took the name Banda Singh Bahadur and became a respected, if not popular, general; his cold and impersonal character did not endear him to his men.
  • Banda Singh set out in 1709 to attack the Mughals, conquering large tracts of territory. His pillaging and massacring in the Deccan led the Mughal rulers finally to move against him in force.
  • After an eight-month siege, the fortress town of Gurdas Nangal fell to the Mughals in 1715. Banda Singh and his men were taken as prisoners to Delhi, where every day for six months a few of his men were taken out and executed.
  • When his own turn came, Banda Singh stated to the Muslim judge that this fate befell him justly because he had failed his beloved Guru Gobind Singh. He was tortured to death with red-hot irons.

Comparison between India and Bangladesh’s GDP

The International Monetary Fund’s latest update on the World Economic Outlook was released recently. In the IMF’s estimation, in 2020, growth of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) will witness a contraction of over 10%.

But more than the sharp contraction, what has caught everyone’s attention is that in 2020, the per capita income of an average Bangladeshi citizen would be more than the per capita income of an average Indian citizen.

How did this happen?

  • Typically, countries are compared on the basis of GDP growth rate, or on absolute GDP. For the most part since Independence, on both these counts, India’s economy has been better than Bangladesh’s. India’s economy has mostly been over 10 times the size of Bangladesh, and grown faster every year.
  • However, per capita income also involves another variable — the overall population — and is arrived at by dividing the total GDP by the total population.
  • As a result, there are three reasons why India’s per capita income has fallen below Bangladesh this year.
    • The first thing to note is that Bangladesh’s economy has been clocking rapid GDP growth rates since 2004. However, this pace did not alter the relative positions of the two economies between 2004 and 2016 because India grew even faster than Bangladesh. But since 2017 onwards, India’s growth rate has decelerated sharply while Bangladesh’s has become even faster.
    • Secondly, over the same 15-year period, India’s population grew faster (around 21%) than Bangladesh’s population (just under 18%).  The combined effect of these two factors can be seen in how the per capita GDP gap had closed considerably even before Covid-19 hit. Bangladesh’s per capita GDP was merely half of India’s in 2007 — but this was just before the global financial crisis. It was roughly 70% of India’s in 2014 and this gap closed rapidly in the last few years.
    • Lastly, the most immediate factor was the relative impact of Covid-19 on the two economies in 2020. While India’s GDP is set to reduce by 10%, Bangladesh’s is expected to grow by almost 4%. In other words, while India is one of the worst affected economies, Bangladesh is one of the bright spots.

Is India expected to regain the lead again?

Yes. The IMF’s projections show that India is likely to grow faster next year and in all likelihood again surge ahead. But, given Bangladesh’s lower population growth and faster economic growth, India and Bangladesh are likely to be neck and neck for the foreseeable future in terms of per capita income.

Saral Jeevan Beema Yojana

Insurance regulator IRDAI has come up with a standard individual term life insurance product whose simple features as well as standard terms and conditions are expected to help customers make an informed choice and reduce mis-selling.

About ‘Saral Jeevan Beema’ Yojana –

  • The product, Saral Jeevan Bima, will be a non-linked, non-participating individual pure risk premium life insurance plan providing for payment of the sum assured in lump sum to the nominee in case of the insured’s death during the policy term.
  • The regulator has mandated all life insurers to offer the standard product by January 1. The plan will be for those in the 18-65 years age group.
  • The policy term will be 5-40 years, while the sum assured will be a minimum of ₹5 lakh and a maximum of ₹25 lakh. Insurers, however, have the option of offering sum assured beyond ₹25 lakh with all other terms and conditions remaining the same.
  • The product shall be offered to individuals without restrictions on gender, place of residence, travel, occupation or educational qualifications.
  • There will be no maturity benefit. Neither will there be any surrender value nor can any loan be taken against the product.

MCQs

1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about the ‘Food and Agriculture Organisation’?

  1. It is a specialised agency of the United Nations launched in the year 1945.
  2. It aims to provide food security for everyone and assure that people have access to high-quality food in sufficient quantities to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
  3. FAO has 47 member countries including the European Union represented as a whole.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. All of the above

Answer – A

Explanation – The FAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations. Established in 1945, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has its headquarters in Rome, Italy.  It was founded with a goal to provide food security for everyone and assure that people will have access to high-quality food in sufficient quantities to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The FAO has 197 member countries, which includes the European Union as well. It conducts biennial conferences. The FAO Council is the executive arm of the governing body. The members elect the Council which is composed of 49 members. The FAO Council also approved India’s membership to the Executive Board of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for 2020 and 2021.

2. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. The World Food Day is celebrated every year worldwide on October 16 to commemorate the date of founding of the United Nations World Food Programme in the year 1961.
  2. The Food and Agriculture Organisation is the implementation arm of the World Food Programme.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – D

ExplanationWorld Food Day is an international day celebrated every year worldwide on 16 October to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945. The WFP, which was established in 1961 at the behest of the US president Dwight Eisenhower, is the worlds largest humanitarian organisation (certified as the largest by the Guinness World Records in 2002) committed towards its global goal of ending hunger by the year 2030. Eisenhower proposed to the UN General Assembly on September 1, 1960, that a, “workable scheme should be devised for providing food aid through the UN system.” The headquarters of WFP is located at Rome, Italy.

3. The headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation is situated in –

  1. New York
  2. Rome
  3. The Haque
  4. Paris

Answer – B

Explanation – Both FAO and World Food Programme have their headquarters located in Rome, Italy.

4. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. As per the IMF’s estimation in World Economic Outlook, in 2020, the gross domestic product of Bangladesh will be more than the gross domestic product of India.
  2. However, according to the same estimates, India’s gross per capita income will be higher than the gross per capita income of Bangladesh.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – D

Explanation – The International Monetary Fund’s latest update on the World Economic Outlook was released recently. In the IMF’s estimation, in 2020, growth of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) will witness a contraction of over 10%. But more than the sharp contraction, what has caught everyone’s attention is that in 2020, the per capita income of an average Bangladeshi citizen would be more than the per capita income of an average Indian citizen. When it comes to size of the economy, India is a giant with its total GDP size touching nearly $3 trillion. Bangladesh is only 11% of India’s GDP. Returning to per capita income measures in current US dollars, this is not the first time that Bangladesh has temporarily overtaken India.

5. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about ‘Saral Jeevan Beema Yojana’?

  1. It is a life-insurance product launched by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with Life Insurance Corporation.
  2. It will be valid for those in the 18-65 years age group.
  3. The maximum capping on the sum insured is made out to be Rs 25 lakhs.

Select the correct codes from below –

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. None of the above

Answer – B

Explanation – The product, Saral Jeevan Bima, will be a non-linked, non-participating individual pure risk premium life insurance plan providing for payment of the sum assured in lump sum to the nominee in case of the insured’s death during the policy term. The regulator has mandated all life insurers to offer the standard product by January 1. The plan will be for those in the 18-65 years age group. The policy term will be 5-40 years, while the sum assured will be a minimum of ₹5 lakh and a maximum of ₹25 lakh. Insurers, however, have the option of offering sum assured beyond ₹25 lakh with all other terms and conditions remaining the same. The product shall be offered to individuals without restrictions on gender, place of residence, travel, occupation or educational qualifications. There will be no maturity benefit. Neither will there be any surrender value nor can any loan be taken against the product.

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