The 15th Finance Commission Report revealed

On 9th November 2020, the 15th Finance Commission (XV-FC) headed by Chairman N. K. Singh delivered its report to President Ram Nath Kovind for the term 2021-22 to 2025-26. As per the Terms of Reference (TOR), the Commission has been required to apply its proposals for a period of five years, i.e. 2021-22 to 2025-26.

In 2019, the Commission submitted its interim report comprising the guidelines for the fiscal year 2020-21, emphasizing that it was impossible to make estimates for five years as the economy slowed down after structural reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Insolvency Code.

This study decreased the share of the state in the divisible tax pool from 42% to 41% for the current year, following the abolition of Jammu and Kashmir as a state. The report was approved by the Government of the Union and tabled in Parliament on 30 January 2020.

Main highlights of this:

1 – The title of this year’s report states: ‘Finance Commission in Covid Times’ and the measures are used to reflect the alignment between the Member States and the Union.

2 – The text is split into 4 volumes.

3-After the report has been tabled in Parliament, it will be published in the public domain.

4 – The chairman of the Commission, N.K. Singh and Secretary Arvind Mehta were accompanied by Ajay Narayan Jha, Anoop Singh, Dr Ashok Lahiri and Dr Ramesh Chand to give the report to the President.



Seaplane Services receives 14 new water aerodromes

After the official start by Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi’s maiden seaplane operation between both the Statue of Unity nearby Kevadiya in Gujarat’s Narmada region and the Sabarmati lakefront in Ahmedabad, the Government is thinking of setting up 14 additional water aerodromes throughout the nation.

They will promote seaplane operations on different routes, including Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar, Assam, Maharashtra as well as Uttarakhand.


The MoCA, as well as AAI, have put up a request in front of the AAI for the following things:

  • Conduction of a hydrographic survey
  • Provision of aid in establishing floating jetties to let the free flow of passengers
  • Establishment of navigation buoys



National Education Day: contributions of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

National Education Day is celebrated on November 11 since 2008 on the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who contributed a lot to the education in India.

About Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and his contributions:

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad served as the first Education Minister of independent India. He organised a national education system, with special focus on free primary education to all. Besides, he also came into the senior leaders’ list of the Indian National Congress being an independent activist and Indian scholar. He was also awarded Bharat Ratna in 1992. Moreover, he laid the foundation of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and established the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

Contributions to the Indian National Movement:

Maulana started a weekly journal called Al-Hilal in Urdu in 1912 but it was banned in 1914 with the accuse of propagating secessionist views.

He became the President of Indian National Congress in 1923 and, then in 1940. He also supported the non-cooperation movement.

Contributions strengthening secularism:

According to Azad, religion should be inspiring followers for the right path and asking for guidance from almighty. Thereby, he laid some principles in education for the development of the human mind and its consciousness.


Armenia and Azerbaijan: Agreed on peace with Russia to end clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh

Peace deal:

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed on the deal with Russia to end the clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh.


There was a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. Usually, bloodshed was seen on the front lines of this internationally recognised part of Azerbaijan but the home to ethnic Armenians. This conflict was flared again recently due to the ignorance of the warning signs.

About Nagorno-Karabakh:

Nagorno-Karabakh has been the part of Azerbaijan but its population is majorly of Armenian and it is controlled also by ethnic Armenians.



Atmanirbhar Bharat: Approval of PLI Scheme to 10 key sectors by the Union Cabinet

The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme in the Tanki sectors for the enhancement of India’s manufacturing capabilities and exports under Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme. The highest priority is to the sector of Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery with the financial outlay of Rs 18100 crore over five years from the total spent of 145980.

PLI Scheme:

Expenditure Finance Committee will appraise the final proposals of the PLI Scheme for individual sectors and the Cabinet will approve it.

What will be its effects?

Growth in the exports of industrial goods and production will expose the Indian industry to foreign competition. It will improve global supply chains. Moreover, it will establish backward linkages with the MSME sector.

Besides, there will be a rise in employment opportunities and improvement in Technology.

About sectors:

The Indian textile industry is the largest in the world with a share of 5% of global exports in apparel and textiles.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third-largest in the world in terms of volume.

India is the world’s second-largest steel producer.



Operationalizing measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) on air pollution

The newly formed Commission on Air Quality Management has allowed the Central pollution Control Board (CPCB) to operationalize the measures under the Graded Response Action plan (GRAP) on air pollution.


Delhi and Noida’s air quality has been continuously going down for the sixth consecutive day.

Current plan:

EPCA is the head of the table. The plan requires coordination and quick action among 13 agencies in NCR areas- Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

It will have 20 members in its permanent body. It will be chaired by a government official on the rank of Chief Secretary.

About GRAP:

The GRAP is a set of only emergency and strict measures approved by the Supreme Court in 2016, against poor air quality to control the pollution. Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority prepared its plan.

About the Commission on Air Quality Management:

The “Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Ordinance 2020” was set up in October 2020. It has the power to issue directions to the state governments related to air pollution.

Rajasthan inks an MOU with SECI and NTPC

The Rajasthan govt. will soon be working with the NTPC as well as SECI to create Super Mega Renewal Energy Power Park.

The park to ever be situated near border areas would have a potential of 8,000 megawatts (MW), consisting of 4,310 MW of wind energy; 3,760 MW of solar energy and 120 MW of biomass electricity.

Currently, the solar generation capacity of Rajasthan is 4,883 MW.

The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Limited (RRECL) will sign a different MOU with the NTPC as well as SECI to execute the GoI Mega Power Park scheme.

Rajasthan has an international boundary of over 1,000 kilometres and is currently being supplied with electricity by conventional methods.

The Rajasthan government has approved a plan to build solar power parks to produce 10,000 MW of renewable energy with an expenditure of Rs 50,000 crore.

The State has approved Adani Green Energy Limited’s initiative to set up solar power parks at 5 locations as well as a solar panel manufacturing plant that will create about 7,500 direct as well as indirect jobs.



Findings by the Wildlife Institute of India

The Indian Wildlife Institute recently published a report on the Ganges River. According to the study, 49% of the river is rich in biodiversity. This is the findings of the Phase I survey. The second survey is due to be completed shortly.

Main highlights of this:

The number of Gangetic Dolphins and Otters in the river has risen. This means that the amount of pollution in the river has declined and the river is in a safe condition.

The research was undertaken by the WII, on behalf of the National Clean Gang Mission, by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The phase of the survey was performed in 2017-19.

The research is unique in the world to be carried out on the entire river and then also, first and foremost, on its ecosystems.

Main Finds:

Previously, there were beliefs and observations that certain parts of Ganga did not have biodiversity. That being said, this was found to be erroneous in the analysis.

According to the report, the river as a whole has some biodiversity. 10% of the high biodiversity regions are Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary in Bihar as well as Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.

Main semi-marine and aquatic species including Gharials, Gangetic Dolphins, Otters, Turtles as well as several types of water birds have been identified in the research. Often nesting Indian Skimmer colonies. Several animals that had died 80 years ago have already re-emerged.



Virgin Hyperloop’s first human ride

  • In a hyperloop device that enables magnetic levitation to make the near-silent flight, a ride between New York and Washington will take only 30 minutes.
  • Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop has achieved the world’s first passenger journey on an ultra-high-speed levitating pod device, the company said on 8 November, a major safety test for infrastructure it hopes would change human and freight transport.
  • Virgin Hyperloop had achieved speeds of up to 172 kilometres per hour.



Nirmala Sitharaman on BRICS Economic and Financial Cooperation agenda

  • Nirmala Sitharaman who is the Union Finance Minister took part in the 1st BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting underneath the Russian Presidency to address the BRICS Economic and Financial Partnership Plan for 2020.
  • The finance minister said Ms Sitharaman spoke about the results and interventions of the G-20 in Saudi Arabia in 2020 on the Finance Track and examines the importance of the BRICS members in representing the interests of emerging market countries in these interventions.