UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 28-12-2020

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December 29, 2020

SEHAT Scheme

  • Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) SEHAT scheme has been extended to all residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Social Endeavour for Health and Telemedicine (SEHAT) scheme will provide free-of-cost health insurance cover of up to ₹5 lakh per family on a floater basis to all residents of J&K.
  • It will operate on insurance mode in convergence with PM-JAY.
  • The benefits of the scheme will be portable across the country.
  • The hospitals empanelled under the PM-JAY scheme shall provide services under this scheme as well.
  • To know more about Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, click here.

Monpa Paper

  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) opened a Monpa paper making unit in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.
  • This unit aims at reviving the art and also engaging the local youths with this art professionally and earn.
  • Monpa Paper or Mon Shugu is the fine-textured handmade paper of Arunachal Pradesh that originated over 1000 years ago.
  • It has great historic and religious significance as it is the paper used for writing Buddhist scriptures and hymns in monasteries.
  • It will be made from the bark of a local tree called Shugu Sheng, which has medicinal values too.
  • It is a local product with great global potential, which is aligned with the Prime Minister’s mantra of “Local to Global”.

Lithium Refinery

  • India’s first Lithium refinery will be set up in Gujarat.
  • It will process Lithium ore to produce battery-grade material.
  • Lithium is a rare element not usually found in India, which would be imported from Australia and processed in this refinery.
  • The proposed Lithium refinery will help make Gujarat a domestic hub for Li-ion batteries manufacturing.
  • TDS Lithium-Ion Battery Gujarat Private Ltd is India’s first Lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Gujarat.
  • This Lithium ion battery manufacturing plant is expected to become operational by January or February 2021.

Zero-Coupon Bonds

  • Zero-coupon bonds or accrual bonds are debt security instruments that do not pay interest.
  • They trade at deep discounts, offering full face value profits at maturity.
  • The difference between the purchase price of a zero-coupon bond and the par value indicates the investor's return.
  • The Centre would recapitalise Punjab & Sind Bank using this bond.
  • The Centre has allowed this bank to account for these securities under ‘Held to Maturity’ portfolio without any limit.
  • Also, such investments will not qualify as Statutory Liquidity Ratio eligible papers.
  • It is a rarest of the rare situation where the recapitalisation exercise will not earn any interest to the bank during the tenure of the securities.

Fortification Standards

  • Food fortification is the supplementation of one or more components like micronutrients to improve the properties of newly designed functional food products.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) First Amendment Regulations, 2020 that will be effective from July 1, 2021.
  • It has restricted the amount of fortification for processed food products to 15-30% of the Indian adult RDA (Recommended dietary Allowance) of micronutrient.
  • This percentage is based on an average calorie intake of 600 kcal from processed foods.
  • The notification has defined the levels of these micronutrients per 100 g.
  • Also, products that are high in fat, salt and sugar will be excluded from the fortified processed foods category.
  • In 2018, FSSAI had notified standards of fortification for five staple product categories - milk, edible oil, rice, flour and salt.
  • It has also launched the ‘F+’ logo to be displayed on labels of fortified food products for easy identification by consumers.


Source: PIB, Livemint, The Indian Express, The Hindu, Business Line

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