Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020


About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
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    Current Affairs – 10th March 2022


    • News: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in his Budget speech on Wednesday announced the government’s decision to revert to the old pension system (OPS) for State government employees and double the yearly MLA local area development fund.
    • About National Pension System:
      • National Pension System Trust (NPS Trust) is a specialised division of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority which is under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Finance of the Government of India.
      • The National Pension System (NPS) is a voluntary defined contribution pension system in India. National Pension System, like PPF and EPF is an EEE (Exempt-Exempt-Exempt) instrument in India where the entire corpus escapes tax at maturity and entire pension withdrawal amount is tax-free.
      • NPS started with the decision of the Government of India to stop defined benefit pensions for all its employees who joined after 1 April 2004. While the scheme was initially designed for government employees only, it was opened up for all citizens of India between the age of 18 and 65 in 2009, for OCI card holders and PIO’s in October 2019.
      • On 26 August 2021, PFRDA increased the entry age for the National Pension System (NPS) from 65 years to 70 years.
      • As per the revised norms, any Indian Citizen, resident or non-resident and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) between the age of 65–70 years can join NPS and continue or defer their NPS Account up to the age of 75 years.
      • It is administered and regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
      • On 10 December 2018, the Government of India made NPS an entirely tax-free instrument in India where the entire corpus escapes tax at maturity; the 40% annuity also became tax-free.
      • Who can join:
        • A citizen of India, whether resident or non-resident or an OCI card holder can join NPS (Through a circular issued on 29 October 2019 PFRDA has stated that now Overseas Citizen of India (OCIs) can enrol to invest in NPS tier-1 accounts), subject to the following conditions:
        • The subscriber should be between 18 and 70 years old as of the date of submission of his/her application to the Point of Presence (POP) / Point of Presence–Service Provider-Authorized branches of POP for NPS (POP-SP).
        • The subscribers should comply with the Know Your Customer (KYC) norms as detailed in the subscriber registration form.
        • Should not be Un-discharged insolvent and individuals of unsound mind.
        • A non-resident can open an account, but the account will be closed if the citizenship status of the NRI has been changed.
      • Withdrawal:
        • Premature withdrawal in NPS before age 60 required parking 80% of the sum in an annuity.
        • One can withdraw 20 percent of the corpus before 60 years but he/she must buy annuity with 80 percent of the corpus.
        • In 2016, the NPS allowed withdrawal of up to 25% of contributions for specified reasons, if the scheme is at least 3 years old with certain conditions. One can withdraw the complete amount if the pension collected is less than INR 5,00,000.
        • This amount was increased to INR 5,00,000 as per PFRDA Circular dated 14 June 2021.


    • News: The hapless mother of a 10-year-old rape survivor is knocking at the doors of justice to terminate the pregnancy of her daughter, who is in the eighth month of pregnancy.
    • Abortion in India:
      • Abortion in India has been legal under various circumstances for the last 50 years with the introduction of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act in 1971.
      • The Act was amended in 2003 to enable women’s accessibility to safe and legal abortion services.
      • In 2021, MTP Amendment Act 2021 was passed with certain amendments in the MTP Act including all women being allowed to seek safe abortion services on grounds of contraceptive failure, increase in gestation limit to 24 weeks for special categories of women, and opinion of one provider required up to 20 weeks of gestation.
      • Abortion can now be performed until 24 weeks pregnancy as the MTP Amendment Act 2021 has come in force by notification in Gazzette from 24 September 2021.
      • Abortion is covered 100% by the government’s public national health insurance funds, Ayushman Bharat and Employees’ State Insurance with the package rate for surgical abortion being set at ₹15,500 (US$210) which includes consultation, therapy, hospitalization, medication, USG and any follow-up treatments. For medical abortion, the package rate is set at ₹1,500 (US$20) which includes consultation and USG.
      • When a woman gets a pregnancy terminated voluntarily from a service provider, it is called induced abortion.
      • Spontaneous abortion is the loss of a woman’s pregnancy before the 20th week that can be both physically and emotionally painful. In common language, it is called a miscarriage.


    • News: The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the establishment of the WHO (World Health Organization) Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM) at Jamnagar in Gujarat. An agreement was signed by the Government of India with the world body in this regard.
    • Details:
      • The WHO GCTM, to be established under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy), will be the first global centre for traditional medicine.
      • The move will help to position AYUSH systems across the globe, provide leadership on global health matters pertaining to traditional medicine, ensure quality, safety and efficacy, accessibility and rational use of traditional medicine while developing specific capacity building.