India Current Affairs [Gov. & Politics]
On August 10, 2020, PM Modi is to inaugurate a 2,300 km submarine Optical Fibre Cable that will connect Chennai and Port Blair.
The submarine cable will also connect major islands in Andaman such as Havelock, Car Nicobar, Great Nicobar, Kamorta, Rangat, Little Andaman.
About the connectivity
The connectivity will provide faster and reliable mobile and telecom services to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The foundation stone for the project was laid by the Prime Minister in 2018. The submarine OFC is to deliver bandwidth of 2×200 Giga bits per second between Chennai and Port Blair. Also, it will deliver 2 x100 Giga bits per second bandwidth between Port Blair and other islands.
The project to set up the cable has been funded by Universal Service Obligation Funds (USOF). The project is to be executed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and the Department of Telecommunication operating under Ministry of Communications is to act as technical consultants.
The 4G mobile services that were disrupted in the islands due to limited bandwidth will now see major improvement. The islands will now see high speed internet.
About Submarine OFC
The Submarine cables are laid on the sea bed between land-based stations. They carry telecommunication signals across the stretches of sea and ocean.
The Fibre Optic cables transmit information from one place to another by sending pulses of IR light. They are mainly used to transmit internet communication, telephone signals, cable television signals.
Universal Service Obligation Funds
The funds ensure there is universal non-discriminatory access to quality ICT services in rural and remote areas at affordable prices. It was created in 2002 by the Department of Telecommunications in 2002. It is non-lapsable fund, meaning, the unspent amount of the financial year is accrued for the next year spending. The fund has statutory support under India Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003. The credits to the funds require parliamentary approval.
Tags: Andaman and Nicobar islands • BSNL • Optical Fiber Cable • Port Blair • Telecom Service
The Reserve Bank of India recently released its report of Consumer Confidence Survey. According to the survey, consumer confidence has dropped to a record low.
The current index dropped to 53.8 in July, 2020 from 63.7 in May. The survey was conducted through telephonic interviews in thirteen major cities.
Key findings of the survey
- The consumers were pessimistic about prevailing economic situation, own income and employment scenario.
- The inflation expectation of households has increased by 60 basis points in July 2020 as compared to May 2020.
- The median inflation expectation rose to 9.9%.
- The Business Assessment Index fell sharply to all-time low of 55.3 in the first quarter from 102.2 in the previous quarter.
- The Business Expectations Index contracted to 99.5
- The Discretionary spending has reduced in the country
- The employment scenario has degraded along with income
- The consumers are becoming optimistic towards 2021
Consumer Confidence Survey
The Consumer Confidence Survey is conducted by the Reserve Bank of India to find out how optimistic the consumers are in regard to their financial situation. The main parameters of the survey are employment, economic situation, employment, price level, spending and income. It is conducted every two months.
Indices in the survey
There are two main indices in the Consumer Confidence Survey. They are Current Situation Index and Future Expectations Index. The Current Situation Index measures the change in consumer perception over an economic issue. The Future Expectations Index measures what consumer think about the main parameters.
The Current Situation Index is 53.8 and the Future Expectations Index is 105.4.
The Household Inflation Expectation Survey says that the inflation is to rise further in the future. And thus, the central bank will face difficulties to cut interest rates going forward. This survey is being conducted by RBI on bi-monthly basis since 2016.
The rural economy may boom in the future because of good harvest season. If the Kharif harvest is good, the prices may come down. Also, as more members migrated back to their villages, the per capita income will decline.