Current Affairs Analysis
Current Affair Analysis

23rd & 24th June 2019 Current Affairs Analysis -IASToppers

Financial Action Task Force (FATF); What are the Common Services Centers (CSCs)? CSC 2.0 scheme; National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC); ‘National Freight Index’; Removal of Judges; DD Free Dish; Flood atlas; Centrally-controlled Air Traffic Flow Management (C-AFTM) system; Ocean Cleanup Project; Arogyapacha genome; Location of Mauritania; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
June 24, 2019

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • CJI writes to PM to remove Allahabad HC judge ‘guilty of misconduct’

Government Schemes & Policies

  • NSIC signs MoU with Common Service Centre

Issues related to Health & Education

  • DD Free Dish Set Top Boxes distribution launched

Economy

  • Start-up Rivigo launches ‘National Freight Index’ for live freight rates

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

  • Odisha comes up with a flood atlas
  • Device to trap ocean plastic waste relaunches

Bilateral & International Relations

  • Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get FATF membership

Science & Technology

  • Kerala University researchers decode Arogyapacha genome

Key Facts for Prelims

  • Centrally-controlled Air Traffic Flow Management (C-AFTM) system
  • Mauritania – Place in News

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Polity & Governance

CJI writes to PM to remove Allahabad HC judge ‘guilty of misconduct’

After an in-house panel found Allahabad High Court’s Justice S N Shukla guilty of misconduct by an internal probe, Chief Justice of India has written to Prime Minister to initiate a motion for his removal.

Commercial-Courts-ias Current Affairs Analysis

What is the issue?

  • A three-judge in-house committee, in 2018, found misconduct of Justice Shukla and suggested his removal from his duty.
  • However, he refused to resign. In March 2019, Justice Shukla wrote a letter to CJI asking him to allowed to discharge judicial work in the high court which was denied by CJI.
  • Now, the Rajya Sabha appoints a three-judge inquiry committee in consultation with the CJI under the provisions of the Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968 to look into the allegations.

What misconduct was done by Allahabad High court?

  • The Allahabad high court judge had allegedly defied the categorical restraint orders passed by a CJI-led bench of the apex court in 2018 to permit private colleges to admit students for the 2017-18 academic session.
  • According to the inquiry committee report, Justice Shukla had disgraced the values of judicial life, acted in a manner unbecoming of a judge, lowered the majesty and credibility of his office and acted in breach of his oath of office.

Removal of Judges:

  • Article 124(4) and the Judges Inquiry Act 1968 determine the procedure of removal of the judges:
  • A judge may be removed from office through a motion adopted by Parliament on grounds of ‘proven misbehaviour or incapacity’.
  • While the Constitution does not use the word ‘impeachment’, it is colloquially used to refer to the proceedings under Article 124 (for the removal of a Supreme Court judge) and Article 218 (for the removal of a High Court judge).

Process for the removal of a judge:

  • Under the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, an impeachment motion may originate in either House of Parliament.
  • To initiate proceedings: (i) at least 100 members of Lok Sabha may give a signed notice to the Speaker, or (ii) at least 50 members of Rajya Sabha may give a signed notice to the Chairman.  
  • The Speaker or Chairman may consult individuals and examine relevant material related to the notice.  Based on this, he or she may decide to either admit the motion or refuse to admit it.
  • If the motion is admitted, the Speaker or Chairman (who receives it) will constitute a three-member committee to investigate the complaint compromising (i) a Supreme Court judge; (ii) Chief Justice of a High Court; and (iii) a distinguished jurist. 
  • The committee will frame charges based on which the investigation will be conducted.  A copy of the charges will be forwarded to the judge who can present a written defence.
  • If the report records a finding of misbehaviour or incapacity, the motion for removal will be taken up for consideration and debated.
  • The motion for removal is required to be adopted by each House of Parliament by: (i) a majority of the total membership of that House; and (ii) a majority of at least two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting. If the motion is adopted by this majority, the motion will be sent to the other House for adoption.
  • Once the motion is adopted in both Houses, it is sent to the President, who will issue an order for the removal of the judge.
[Ref: Business Standard, Financial Express]

 

Government Schemes & Policies

NSIC signs MoU with Common Service Centre

The National Small Industries Corporation signed an MoU with Common Service Centres (CSC) e-Governance Services for enhancing new offerings for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector by synergizing each other’s competence.

Commom Service Centres 2 IASToppers .com

About the Memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by NSIC

  • The MoU have special focus on providing services to village level entrepreneurs (VLEs).

Commom Service Centres IASToppers .com

  • The MoU will also enable CSCs to utilize plethora of NSIC offerings through the NSIC portal.
  • CSC will facilitate VLEs and MSMEs through digital empowerment in accessing NSIC integrated support services.

What are the Common Services Centers (CSCs)?

Common Services Centers

  • Common Services Centre (CSC) programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) and is one of the mission mode projects under the Digital India Programme.
  • It is a strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), approved by the Government in 2006, as part of its commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale.
  • A CSC is managed by Local unemployed, educated youth providing opportunities for direct and indirect employment.
  • They are the access points for delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society.
  • CSCs enable the three vision areas of the Digital India programme:
  1. Digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen.
  2. Governance and services on demand.
  3. Digital empowerment of citizens.

Significance of the CSCs:

  • Positioned as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods.
  • Act as enablers of community participation and collective action for engendering social change through a bottom-up approach with key focus on the rural citizen.
  • Transparent and timely delivery of government and other eServices at affordable cost.
  • Reducing citizens’ efforts and resources in availing services within their localities by eliminating their visit to Government offices for the same.
  • Integrated framework for delivery and dissemination of various government initiatives and benefits through Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enablement.
  • Acting as last mile distribution units for various governments’ direct benefits to marginalised/backward communities.
  • The CSCs are acting a medium for rural citizens to get digitally empowered and interact with the government and its agencies.

Services offered by CSCs:

  • Agriculture Services (Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Veterinary)
  • Education & Training Services (School, College, Vocational Education, Employment, etc.)
  • Health Services (Telemedicine, Health Check-ups, Medicines)
  • Rural Banking & Insurance Services (Micro-credit, Loans, Insurance)
  • Entertainment Services (Movies, Television)
  • Utility Services (Bill Payments, Online bookings)
  • Commercial Services (DTP, Printing, Internet Browsing, Village level BPO).

CSC 2.0 Scheme

  • Based on the assessment of CSC scheme, the Government launched the CSC 2.0 scheme in 2015 to expand the outreach of CSCs to all Gram Panchayats.
  • CSCs functioning under the existing scheme will also be strengthened and integrated with additional 1.5 lakh CSCs.
  • CSC 2.0 scheme would consolidate service delivery through a universal technology platform, making e-services, particularly Government to Citizen (G2C) services accessible to citizens anywhere in India.

Key Features of CSC 2.0 scheme

  • A self-sustaining network of 2.5 lakh CSCs in Gram Panchayats
  • Large bouquet of e-services through a single delivery platform
  • Standardization of services and capacity building of stakeholders
  • Localised Help Desk support
  • Sustainability of VLEs through maximum commission sharing
  • Encouraging more women as VLEs

National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC)

  • NSIC is a Government of India’s Enterprise under Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
  • Since its establishment in 1955, it aims to promote and support MSME Sector by providing integrated support services encompassing Marketing, Technology, Finance and other services.

Functions of NSIC:

  • Provide machinery on hire-purchase scheme to small-scale industries.
  • Provide equipment leasing facility.
  • Help in export marketing of the products of small-scale industries.
  • Participate in bulk purchase programme of the Government.
  • Develop prototype of machines and equipment to pass on to small-scale industries for commercial production.
  • Distribute basic raw material among small-scale industries through raw material depots.
  • Help in development and up-gradation of technology and implementation of modernization programmes of small-scale industries.
  • Impart training in various industrial trades.
  • Set up small-scale industries in other developing countries on turn-key basis.
  • Undertake the construction of industrial estates.

Schemes of NSIC:

  • Single Point Registration (SPRS)
  • Bank Credit Facilitation
  • Raw Material Assistance scheme
  • Consortia & Tender Marketing Scheme
  • Marketing Intelligence Services

Government Schemes implemented by NSIC

  • MSME DataBank
  • National Scheduled Caste And Scheduled Tribe Hub
  • Performance & Credit Rating Scheme
  • Marketing Assistance Scheme
  • Aspire
[Ref: PIB]

 

Issues related to Health & Education

DD Free Dish Set Top Boxes distribution launched

Country’s national broadcaster Doordarshan has distributed Free Dish Set Top Boxes in Jammu and Kashmir.

DD Distributes Free Dish Set Top Boxes in J&K 1 IASToppers .com

About the new initiatives taken in J&K:

  • Distribution off free set up box compromising 100 channels to view for free.
  • Launch of the first news bulletin in Dogri language that will be aired on DD Kashir on a daily basis.
  • Unveiling the signature tune of Doordarshan’s satellite channel for Jammu and Kashmir DD Kashir.

Significance:

  • Free DTH connections will help in dissemination of information in border areas which are not well connected by roads or other communication means.

DD Distributes Free Dish Set Top Boxes in J&K IASToppers .com

Key Facts:

  • Among the 25 crore households in India, only 18 crores have a TV set.
  • DD Free Dish is the biggest direct-to-home (DTH) operator in the country with 3.5 crore connections.
[Ref: PIB, India Today]

 

Economy

Start-up Rivigo launches ‘National Freight Index’ for live freight rates

Logistics start-up Rivigo has launched National Freight Index (NFI) that will provide live freight rates for different lanes and vehicles across India.

National Freight Index 3 IASToppers .com

About the National Freight Index:

  • The National Freight Index (NFI) is a comprehensive benchmark of the road freight spot market in India which offers both live rates and historical trends of spot price movements in the road freight industry.
  • The index is represented in two main forms, firstly in terms of actual freight rates condensed to INR per ton-km and secondly in terms of relative movement with respect to the base month of April 2018.

Significance:

  • Bring price transparency to truck fleet owners and transporters.
  • Provides supplier quality assurance through the Rivigo Rate Exchange.
  • Streamline the transport sector by giving live spot rates on over 7 million lane and vehicle type combinations in India.

Need:

  • The Indian road freight market size is estimated at $150 billion-$160 billion, of which $130 billion-$140 billion is full-truck load (FTL) market, however, it has been facing a growing challenge of shortage of truck drivers.
  • Logistics account for nearly 14% of India’s GDP and 70% of it comes from road transportation. But, there is no pricing transparency and working conditions of drivers is deplorable which could lead to 50% shortage of truck drivers by 2023.
[Ref: LiveMint]

 

Environment, Ecology & Disaster Management

Odisha comes up with a flood atlas

Odisha has come out with a unique flood hazard atlas on the basis of historic flood inundation captured through satellite imagery over the period from 2001 to 2018, which is expected to help the State manage floods more efficiently.

  • The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Hyderabad had taken the study on flood hazard zonation for Odisha.

Background:

  • Vast areas of the State are inundated when there is flooding every year in major rivers, namely, the Mahanadi, Brahmani, Baitarani, Subarnarekha and Rushikulya.
  • Some of the rivers like, the Vamsadhara and Budhabalanga, also cause flash floods due to instant run-off from their hilly catchments.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Device to trap ocean plastic waste relaunches

  • A floating device designed to catch plastic waste has been redeployed in a second attempt to clean up an island of trash swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.

Device to trap ocean plastic relaunches 1 IASToppers .com

Key facts:

  • It is part of the Ocean Cleanup Project.
  • Ocean currents concentrate plastic in five areas in the world: the subtropical gyres, also known as the world’s “ocean garbage patches”.
  • The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization, developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.

Device to trap ocean plastic relaunches IASToppers .com

Bilateral & International Relations

Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get FATF membership

Saudi Arabia has become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) following the group’s annual general meeting in the US.

Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get FATF membership IASToppers .com

About the Saudi Arabia’s FATF membership:

Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get FATF membership 5 IASToppers .com

  • Saudi Arabia became observer member of FATF in 2015.
  • Its full membership came after it was reported that the Saudi Arabia had made tangible progress in implementing the FATF’s guidelines.
  • Saudi Arabia had been a founding member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF) since 2004.
  • With the Saudi Arabia becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members of FATF is now 39.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

  • FATF is an inter‐governmental policy making body with ministerial mandate to establish international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • It was created in 1989 at the behest of the G7, and is headquartered at Paris.
  • The FATF’s decision making body, the FATF Plenary, meets three times per year.
  • It does not address at all issues related to low tax jurisdiction or tax competition.
  • The FATF is a policy-making body and has no investigative authority.

Functions:

  • The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally.
  • In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

Participants:

  • A large number of international organizations participate in the FATF as observers, each of which has some involvement in anti-money laundering activities.
  • Organizations such as Interpol, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and World Bank are observers.

What is blacklist and grey list?

  • FATF maintains two different lists of countries: those that have deficiencies in their AML/CTF regimes, but they commit to an action plan to address these loopholes, and those that do not end up doing enough. The former is commonly known as grey list and the later as blacklist.
  • Once a country is blacklisted, FATF calls on other countries to apply enhanced due diligence and counter measures, increasing the cost of doing business with the country and in some cases severing it altogether.

Key facts:

  • Initially, it was only dealing with developing policies to combat money laundering. But in 2001 its purpose was expanded to act against terrorism financing.
  • Currently, it comprises two regional organisations (the EU and the Gulf Co-operation Council) and 35 member jurisdictions, including India, UK, US, China and the European Commission.
  • Pakistan is not a member state of FATF: instead, it is a FATF Associate Member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG).
  • Although the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a full Member of the FATF, the individual Member countries of the GCC (of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) are not.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Science & Technology

Kerala University researchers decode Arogyapacha genome

24tvArogyapacha-IASToppers

  • Scientists from the University of Kerala have decoded the genetic make-up of Arogyapacha (Trichopus zeylanicus), a highly potent medicinal plant endemic to the Agasthya hills.
  • This ‘miracle plant’ is known for its traditional use by the Kani tribal community to combat fatigue.
  • Studies have also proved its varied spectrum of pharmacological properties such as anti-oxidant, aphrodisiac, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-tumour, anti-ulcer, anti-hyperlipidemic, hepatoprotective and anti-diabetic.

 

Key Facts for Prelims

Centrally-controlled Air Traffic Flow Management (C-AFTM) system

  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) is working towards the implementation of a Centrally-controlled Air Traffic Flow Management (C-AFTM) system across country’s airspace and major airports, particularly those with high traffic density, in its bid to cut travel time for fliers.

Centrally-controlled Air Traffic Flow Management (C-AFTM) system 1 IASToppers .com

About the C-AFTM:

  • The new system would integrate data from airlines, airports and air-traffic agencies and inform airlines about the time planes will be parked at the destination airport well before departure.
  • The system is primarily meant to address the balancing of capacity against the demand to achieve optimum utilization of the major resources such as airport, airspace and aircraft at every Indian airport where there is a capacity constraint.

Mauritania – Place in News

  • An African nation – Mauritania went to polls for the first time since it gained independence from France nearly 60 years ago. 

Location of Mauritania:

maua-MMAP-md.jpg-IASToppers

  • Mauritania is a country in Northwest Africa.
  • It is the eleventh largest sovereign state in Africa.
  • It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, and Senegal to the southwest.

 

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