PRELIM SNIPPETS – June 21,2019

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  • Kerala is gearing up for the launch of the country’s premier solar-powered cruise boat by December 2019
  • The initiative comes from the State Water Transport Department (SWTD), whose solar ferry Aditya in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route has proved to be a success
  • Aditya incurs a rock-bottom energy expense of ₹200 a day, as compared to the approximately ₹8,000 needed for diesel-powered ferries.
  • Solar vessels do not create air and noise pollution. The double-deck, double-engine catamaran-type vessel adheres to norms specified by the Indian Registry of Shipping (IRS). The vessel will have an air-conditioned lower deck and pushback seats.


  • Victoria has become the first state in Australia to enact Euthanasia laws.
  • It would now allow terminally ill patients suffering from intolerable pain to legally ask their doctor for lethal drugs to end their lives.
  • The state’s historic laws were effective from 19 June 2019.
  • Queensland and Western Australia are now considering enacting the legislation.


  • World Refugee Day is observed on the 20th of June every year.
  • It celebrates the stories and contributions of refugees.
  • The theme this year is Step with Refugees – Take a Step on World Refugee Day.
  • According to the latest annual study released by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 70.8 million children, women and men were forcibly displaced at the end of 2018.


  • India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) is India’s most respected credit rating agency committed to providing India’s credit markets accurate, timely and prospective credit opinions.
  • Built on a foundation of independent thinking, rigorous analytics, and an open and balanced approach towards credit research, Ind-Ra has grown rapidly during the past decade, gaining significant market presence in India’s fixed income market.
  • Credit rating agencies in India.
  • As of now, there are six credit rating agencies registered under SEBI namely, CRISIL, ICRA, CARE, SMERA, Fitch India and Brickwork Ratings.
  • Ind-Ra is associated with Fitch India.

What do They do?

  • A credit rating agency (CRA) is a company that rates debtors on the basis of their ability to pay back their interests and loan amount on time and the probability of them defaulting.
  • These agencies may also analyse the creditworthiness of debt issuers and provide credit ratings to only organisations and not individuals consumers.
  • Individual customers are rated by specialised agencies known as credit bureaus that provide a credit score to every customer based on his/her financial history.
  • Higher the credit rating, lower is the rate of interest offered to the organisation.
  • SEBI regulates the credit rating agencies under the SEBI (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulations, 1999 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992. In fact, SEBI was one of the first few regulators, globally, to put in place an effective and comprehensive regulation for Credit Rating Agencies.


  • The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) is the institutional mechanism under GST law to check the unfair profit-making activities by the trading community.
  • The Authority’s core function is to ensure that the benefits of the reduction is GST rates on goods and services made by GST Council and proportional change in the Input tax credit passed on to the ultimate consumers and recipient respectively by way of reduction in the prices by the suppliers.
  • The Authority’s main function is to ensure that traders are not realizing unfair profit by charging high price from consumers in the name of GST.
  • The chairman, NAA along with 4 Technical members and with help of the Standing Committee, Screening Committee in every state and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), will work together on the anti- profiteering front.


  • SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.


  • India has planned to purchase S-400 anti-missile system from Russia.
  • Such a move from India has further distanced the U.S which reiterated by stating that it would be difficult to for Washington to offer high technology hardware like F-35 combat aircraft.
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