1. Consumer Welfare Fund

The issue in news

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into effect from July 2020 in the country replacing the 1986 Act.

About the Consumer Welfare Fund:

  • The Consumer Welfare Fund was created in 1992 with the objective of providing financial assistance to promote and protect the welfare of the consumers, create consumer awareness and strengthen consumer movement in the country.
  • Financial assistance is provided to Voluntary Consumer Organisations/Institutions for undertaking consumer advocacy/awareness and to State Government/Union Territories for setting up State Consumer Welfare Fund.
  • The Fund has been set up by the Department of Revenue and, is being operated by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.


  1. Food inflation

The issue in news

The provisional food inflation in July 2020 was 9.62%.


  • Food inflation in India slowed to 9.05 percent in August of 2020 from 9.27 percent in July. Prices of vegetables went up 11.41 percent, pulses 14.44 percent, cereals 5.92 percent, meat and fish 16.5 percent and sugar 3.93 percent.


Food inflation

  • The condition of an increase in the wholesale price index of a necessary food item relative to the general index or the consumer price index (CPI) is referred to as food inflation.
  • It is basically the rise in the cost of an essential food item relative to the previous price.
  • Food inflation is quite volatile. The volatility actually depends on agricultural prices as the change in the weather, supply, and demand in the agricultural sector tends to vary.


Causes of food inflation:

  • There are several causes of food inflation. Some of the major ones are:
  • Climate change – Climate change leads to extreme and unpredictable weather conditions which in turn, affects agriculture adversely. Hence, food prices rise.
  • Transportation – An increase in the oil prices will lead to increased transportation costs, and will eventually lead to hiked food prices.
  • A rise in global food prices can also cause food inflation in a country. This is particularly true for tradables like sugar, oil and meat and not so much for staples such as dairy products and cereals.
  • Diversification of diet towards high-value food products can cause a rise in the prices because of increased demand of such food products like meat, eggs, pulses, fruits, etc.
  • Rising input costs in agriculture also lead to increased food prices.


  1. AICTE-SPICES (Scheme for Promoting Interests, Creativity and Ethics among Students)

The issue in news

  • AICTE-SPICES (Scheme for Promoting Interests, Creativity and Ethics among Students) launched by the Union Education Minister.


  • The idea behind this scheme is to promote healthy co-curricular activity amongst the students for their all-round development.
  • The Scheme provides financial support to institutions for developing students club for the well-rounded development of students by promoting their interests, creativity and ethics.
  • This club should serve as a model for other clubs in the institution and also those in other institutions.

Eligibility for financial support:

  • AICTE approved institutes which have been in existence for at least five years.
  • Only one proposal per institute for a club (with minimum student members 50) will be admissible.
  • The institute may choose its best performing club for applying under the scheme for the grant.


  1. Living Planet Report: WWF

The issue in news

The World Wide Fund for Nature released the Living Planet Report 2020 . Acc. to the report the in the past half- century population of vertebrate species has declined.

  • Animals that have backbones or vertebral columns are called Vertebrates.


World Wildlife Fund for Nature

  • It’s headquartered at Gland, Switzerland , it was established in 1961.
  • The mission of WWF  is to conserve nature and reduce the threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Main points

  • The Report was prepared using the Living Planet Index to calculate the decline in vertebrate species.
  • Living Planet Index (LPI) is a measure of the state of the biological diversity  of the world based on terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats of the population trends of vertebrate species.
  • It is released by Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London)

Findings of the report:

  • to the report an average of 68% decline can be seen in global vertebrate species populations, between 1970 and 2016.
  • the decline in the Asia Pacific region stands at 45%.
  • 84% reduction can be seen in Freshwater species populations since 1970. Freshwater species populations are being lost faster than terrestrial or marine species.
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), almost 1/3 of freshwater species are now threatened with

Threats to Biodiversity:

  • Pollution
  • Changes in Land and Sea Use
  • Species Overexploitation
  • Habitat Loss and Degradation
  • Invasive Species and Disease
  • Climate Change


  1. Mekedatu Project

The issue in news

The centre is likely to pressurize The Karnataka government for approval of the construction of

the Mekedatu Project on the Cauvery river.

Mekedatu, is a deep gorge situated at the confluence of the rivers Cauvery and its tributary Arkavathi.

  • In the midst of the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Ontigondlu a reservoir site has been proposed .
  • this site is situated at Ramanagara district in Karnataka
  • The aim of this project is to supply and store water for drinking purposes (for the Bengaluru city) . the proposal also estimated that 400 megawatts (MW) of power will be generated through this

Main points

  • In 2017 The project was first approved by the Karnataka followed by approval from the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources.
  • However, Tamil Nadu approached the Supreme Court (SC) against the project stating that they oppose any project being proposed in the upper riparian unless it was approved by the Supreme Court and that Karnataka had no right to construct any reservoir on an inter-state river without the consent of the lower riparian state e. Tamil Nadu in this case.
  • Since the the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal held that no state can claim ownership whilst depriving other states of water of the interstate rivers therefore the project was against the decision of the tribunal.


 Engineers’ Day

The issue in news

PM greets engineers on Engineers’ Day.

About Engineers’ Day:

  • September 15 is observed as Engineers’ Day in India to mark the birth anniversary of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, Indian civil engineer and statesman.
  • He was the Diwan of Mysore State from 1912 to 1919. He was the Chief Engineer of the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam in Mandya district, Karnataka.
  • He also designed a flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad.
  • He received the Bharat Ratna for his contributions in 1955.
  • Engineers’ Day is also observed in Sri Lanka and Tanzania in Visvesvaraya’s honour.

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