C.A Dated On 17-07-2019
Nandi statues:
Why in News?
A pair of centuries-old Nandi statues, carved out of monolithic soapstone, have
been unearthed from a dried lake bed in Arasinakere, about 20 km from here.
About the Statues:
 The statues appeared to belong to the 16th or 17th century, dating back to
the post-Vijayanagar period.
 They resembled most of the sculptures carved out of the smooth soapstone
during that period.
 The statues are carved out of a single rock.
 The statues are incomplete.
 While the larger one is around 15 feet in length and 12 feet in height, the
smaller one is more compact, according to locals.
While the locals suggest there could be an ancient temple beneath the lake,
archaeologists say it is plausible that the Nandi statues had been carved out of
the rock found at the spot for transportation to a different destination
Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Why in News?
The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Central Universities (Amendment) Bill,
2019, for establishing a Central University and Tribal University in Andhra
About the Bill:
 The government has set aside ₹450 crore for the first stage of the Central
University project against the total amount of ₹902.07 crore and ₹420 crore
for Tribal University against an outlay of ₹836 crore.
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 The Tribal University will offer research facilities in the fields of art, culture
and technology to the tribal population.
Trade Deficit:
Why in News?
India’s trade deficit narrowed by nearly 8% to $15.28 billion during the last
month, as against $16.6 billion in June 2018, according to official data released
on Monday.
 In June 2019, merchandise exports fell nearly 10% to $25.01 billion as
against $27.70 billion in the year-ago month, the Commerce Ministry data
 In rupee terms, exports stood at ₹1,73,682.55 crore, down 7.52% from
₹1,87,800.20 crore in June 2018.
 The data showed that merchandise imports too declined during the month
under review from $44.30 billion to $40.29 billion, a fall of 9.06%.
 The decline in exports in June 2019 is due in large part to a base effect of
an extraordinarily good month in June 2018 impacting growth figures for
June 2019.
 It added that the negative growth is consistent with certain global trends,
which have impacted India’s exports in recent months.
 The World Bank, in its Global Economic Prospects (June 2019), has
projected weakening of global trade in 2019. Global trade is projected to
grow at 2.6% this year – a full percentage point below their previous
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 The major commodities which led to this decline were petroleum products,
rice, cotton yarn/Fabrics/made-ups, gems and jewellery, ready-made
garments, organic & inorganic chemicals, and Engineering goods.
What is Trade Deficit?
 The balance of trade, commercial balance, or net exports
(sometimes symbolized as NX), is the difference between the monetary
value of a nation's exports and imports over a certain time period.
 Sometimes a distinction is made between a balance of trade for goods
versus one for services.
 The balance of trade measures a flow of exports and imports over a given
period of time.
 The notion of the balance of trade does not mean that exports and imports
are "in balance" with each other.
 If a country exports a greater value than it imports, it has a trade surplus
or positive trade balance, and conversely, if a country imports a greater
value than it exports, it has a trade deficit or negative trade balance.
 As of 2016, about 60 out of 200 countries have a trade surplus. The notion
that bilateral trade deficits are bad in and of themselves is overwhelmingly
rejected by trade experts and economists
Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA):
Why in news?
C.A Dated On 17-07-2019
The Rajya Sabha on July 16 passed a Bill allowing the Airports Economic
Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a
pre-determined tariff structure.
Details of the Bill:
 As many as 16 airports will be in the purview of AERA.
 All other airports continue to be looked after by the Civil Aviation Ministry.‖
 Currently, major airports with an annual capacity to handle one-and-a-half
million passengers come under the purview of Airports Economic
Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).
 The AERA is a regulator that has the powers to set the tariffs charged at
Effect of the Bill:
 If the amendment is passed by Parliament, the definition of major airports
would be changed to any aerodrome which has or is designated to have
annual passenger capacity of three-and-a-half million.
Global immunisation coverage:
Why in News?
Twenty million children worldwide – more than 1 in 10 – missed out on
life-saving vaccines against diseases such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus in
2018, according to data from the WHO and the UNICEF.
It showed that an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global
immunisation coverage improved.
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 Globally, since 2010, vaccination coverage with three doses of diphtheria,
tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) and one dose of the measles vaccine had
stalled at 86 %
 In 2018, an estimated 19.4 million infants worldwide were not reached with
routine immunisation services such as three doses of DTP vaccine.
 Around 60% of these children live in 10 countries: Angola, Brazil, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria,
Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.
 While high, this is not sufficient. 95% coverage is needed — globally,
across countries, and communities — to protect against outbreaks of
vaccine-preventable diseases,’’ said WHO Director-General.
Case in Point:Measles outbreak
 Stark disparities in vaccine access persisted across and within countries of
all income levels.
 This had resulted in devastating measles outbreaks in many parts of the
world, including countries that had high overall vaccination rates.
 In 2018, almost 3,50,000 measles cases were reported globally, more than
doubling from 2017.
 Ukraine leads a varied list of countries with the highest reported incidence
rate of measles in 2018.
Drought rules 2016:
Why in news?
The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Tuesday demanded that the Centre scrap
the Manual for Drought Management, 2016, which had changed the way that
droughts are declared and the circumstances under which Central help can be
sought by affected States.
Drought Prone Areas:
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 Latest data from the India Meteorological Department show over half the
country’s land area still faces rainfall deficits of more than 20% this
monsoon season.
 Saurashtra and Kutch are the worst affected region, with a 60% deficit as
of June 16, followed by Gangetic West Bengal, parts of Rajasthan, Haryana
and Kerala.
 Across the Deccan peninsula — in Marathwada, Vidarbha, Andhra Pradesh,
Telangana and Tamil Nadu — the deficits hover in the 30-35% range.
 Rainfall is low, but even in areas where the deficit may not be high now, the
rain has come late, affecting the sowing and growing of crops,‖ he added.
Why demand for change in Drought inclusion criterion:
 Before 2016, it was considered a drought year in a particular area if there
was deficient rainfall and the crop yield was less than 50% of the average
of the previous 10 years.
 States could draw support from the Calamity Relief Fund and the National
Calamity Contingency Fund.
 However, the Manual for Drought Management, issued by the Union
Agriculture Ministry in 2016, brought in stringent new parameters.
 States are required to assess conditions using five indicators:
 Rainfall, agriculture, soil moisture, hydrology and crop health.
 The Manual allows States to request for support from the National
Disaster Response Fund if a drought is declared as ―severe‖.
 This can only happen if three impact indicators (apart from rainfall) fall into
the ―severe‖ category, he explained.
 ―These conditions are so stringent that an area may not be officially
declared as facing a severe drought even while its farmers are suffering.

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