UPSC Explained: IEPFA, GII, HbA1C, T+0, Rice Bran & More

GS Paper 2

Investor Education  and  Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA)

  • News: The IEPF Authority seeks stakeholder feedback to refine, expedite and accelerate its claims settlement procedure.
  • Background on IEPFA: Established in 2016 under provisions of section 125 of Companies Act, 2013, within the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • Objectives:
      • Responsible for administering the Investor Education Protection Fund (IEPF).
      • Facilitates refunds of shares, unclaimed dividends, matured deposits/debentures, etc., to investors.
      • Engages in investor awareness promotion initiatives.
  • About Investor Education Protection Fund (IEPF):
    • Founded in 2001 under Section 205C of the Companies Act, 1956.
    • Receives unpaid or unclaimed amounts such as dividends, application money, matured deposits, etc., after 7 years of dormancy.
    • Funds credited to IEPF are maintained under the Consolidated Fund of India (A-266).
    • Utilized for investor awareness promotion and safeguarding investor interests.
    • Facilitates court-ordered repayments in cases of fraudulent activities in the stock market, redistributing disgorged funds to compensate affected investors.

GS Paper 3

Gender Inequality Index (GII)

    • News: On the Gender Inequality Index (GII) 2022, India stands at rank 108 out of 193 countries.
    • GII: GII is a composite measure, reflecting inequality in achievements between women & men in 3 dimensions: 
      • Reproductive health: This considers factors like maternal mortality rates and adolescent fertility rates. 
      • Empowerment: This includes indicators like educational attainment and political participation of women. 
      •  Labor Market: This assesses gender differences in labor force participation and wages. 
  • GII Scores: 
      • GII score varies between 0 (when women and men fare equally) and 1 (when men or women fare poorly compared to the other in all dimensions).
  • India’s Rank: 
    • India stands at rank 108 out of 193 countries with a score of 0.437. 
    • India stood at rank 122 out of 191 countries with a score of 0.490 in the Gender Inequality Index 2021.
    • This shows a significant jump of 14 ranks on GII 2022 vis-à-vis GII 2021.
    • Over the last 10 years, India’s rank in GII has become consistently better, indicating progressive improvement in achieving gender equality in the country.
  • Publication:  It is released by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

UPSC Prelims: Best Prelim Focus Course by Tarun IAS

Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C)Test

  • News: A nationwide study suggests that India is home to approximately 101.3 million individuals diagnosed with diabetes, alongside an additional 136 million individuals categorized as pre-diabetic.
  • About the Test: It is one of the most commonly-used tests to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) and to help manage diabetes. 
    • It is also known as the glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin test.
  • Importance:  The hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test measures the amount of blood sugar (glucose) attached to your hemoglobin. 
    • Hemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. 
    • It is an important blood test that gives a good indication of how well your diabetes is being controlled.
  • Working of the Test
    • Sugar enters the bloodstream through consumed food.
    • Glucose attaches to the haemoglobin found in red blood cells.
    • Haemoglobin functions as a protein carrier, distributing oxygen to body cells.
    • Sugar naturally attaches to haemoglobin in red blood cells.
    • Individuals with pre-diabetes and diabetes exhibit higher levels of this attachment.
  • Diabetes:  Diabetes occurs when the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood becomes excessively high. This condition arises due to insufficient insulin production by the pancreas or ineffective response to insulin within the body.
  • Types of Diabetes: 
    • Type 1 diabetes: When the blood glucose (sugar) level is too high because the body can’t make a hormone called insulin.
    • Type 2 diabetes: With type 2 diabetes the insulin that pancreas makes can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin.
    • Gestational Diabetes: Formed during pregnancy.

T+0 Settlement

  • News: Capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved the launch of the beta version of the T+0 settlement. 
  • T+0 Settlement: It means that the funds and securities for a transaction will be settled on the day the trade was entered into. 
  • Transition to T+1 Settlement: Traditionally, settlement of funds and securities in Indian securities markets occurred on a T+1 basis, meaning the day after the trade was executed.
      • However, regulatory changes led to longer settlement periods initially, with the settlement cycle gradually shortened over time.
  • Regulatory Changes and Timeline:
      • In 2002, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) reduced the settlement period from T+5 to T+3.
      • Subsequently, in 2003, SEBI further reduced it to T+2.
      • The T+1 settlement system was introduced in 2021, with a phased implementation completed by January 2023.
  • Advantages of T+1 Settlement:
      • Instant Receipt of Funds and Securities: Investors receive their funds and securities immediately upon trade execution, enhancing control and eliminating settlement-related risks.
      • Risk Mitigation: The new system is expected to reduce settlement shortages and enhance investor control over funds and securities.
      • Lower Counterparty Risk and Increased Liquidity: The shorter settlement cycle is anticipated to decrease counterparty risk and boost market liquidity.
  • Global Comparisons: The Moscow Exchange (MOEX), Korea Exchange (KRX), Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), and Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) offer T+0 settlements for certain transaction types, indicating instantaneous settlement.

Rice Bran

  • News: India extends ban on de-oiled rice bran export by four months.
  • Rice Bran Overview:
      • It constitutes a primary byproduct in the rice milling process, originating from the outer brown layer of brown rice, separated during milling.
  • Key Characteristics:
      • The bran fraction contains 14-18% oil.
      • Renowned as a “healthy oil” in Japan, Asia, and particularly India.
      • Exhibits a pale yellow color, odorless nature, nutty flavor, and sweet taste.
      • Serves as a rich source of unsaturated fats, vitamin E, and other essential nutrients.
  • Nutrient Composition and Usage:
      • Nutrient composition varies based on rice variety and milling system efficiency.
      • Primarily employed as animal feed due to its oily nature, serving as an effective binder for animal feeds.
  • Health Effects:
    • Demonstrates anti-diabetic, lipid-lowering, hypotensive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Consumption enhances bowel function.
    • Contains substances that potentially reduce cholesterol absorption in the body.
    • May decrease calcium absorption, aiding in the prevention of certain types of kidney stones.

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Facts for Prelims

Gulf of Carpentaria

  • News: Tropical Cyclone Megan has made landfall on the south-western Gulf of the Carpentaria coast. 
  • Location: The Gulf of Carpentaria is a rectangular sea in the northern part of Australia.
  • Borders: 
    • The Gulf of Carpentaria is enclosed on the west by Arnhem Land and on the east by the Cape York Peninsula. 
    • The gulf floor is the continental shelf common to Australia and New Guinea.
  • Features:
    • It is a rare modern example of an epicontinental sea(a shallow sea on top of a continent), a feature much more common at earlier times in the Earth’s geologic history. 
    • At least 20 rivers empty into the gulf, including the Roper, Wilton, Walker, Calvert, Flinders, McArthur, and Norman Rivers. 
    • There are several islands in the gulf, with Groote Eylandt, being the largest. 
    •  The gulf also contains fringing reefs and coral colonies.

Noctis Volcano

    • News: Scientists have revealed the discovery of a colossal volcano, the ‘Noctis Volcano’. 
    • Noctis Volcano: Recently discovered, Noctis Volcano is situated just south of Mars’ equator, to the west of Valles Marineris, the planet’s expansive canyon system.
  • Key Features:
      • Adjacent to three other prominent giant volcanoes: Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, and Arsia Mons.
      • Geological Characteristics: Presence of lava flows, pyroclastic deposits (composed of volcanic particulate materials like ash, cinders, pumice, and tephra), and hydrated mineral deposits are observed in various areas within the structure’s perimeter.
      • Long-Term Activity: Noctis Volcano remained active for an extended period on the Red Planet.
      • Unique Geological Formation: In its southeastern part, a thin layer of recent volcanic deposit overlays the structure, beneath which glacier ice is likely still present.
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