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Current Affairs Analysis

9th February 2017 Current Affairs Analysis – IASToppers

Cashless System for PDS; Central Bureau of Investigation; Enforcement Department; Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB); Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement; Senegal; 2016 B C Roy Award; etc.
By IT's Current Affairs Analysis Team
February 09, 2017

Contents

Polity & Governance

  • Centre not in favour of new law for CBI

Economy

  • RBI to set up in-house enforcement cell
  • RBI to set up panel on strengthening cyber security

Environment & Ecology

  • 56th meeting of the Central Geological Programming Board

Bilateral & International Relations

  • India to pitch global services accord to WTO chief Azevedo
  • Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and France in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Cabinet apprised of India-Vietnam space agreement
  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine

Key Facts for Prelims

  • 2016 B C Roy Award
  • Gujarat becomes first state to establishes Cashless System for PDS

 

Polity & Governance

Centre not in favour of new law for CBI

The Central government has turned down the recommendation of a Parliamentary Committee to come up with a new law for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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  • The parliamentary committee has recommended replacing the 70-year-old Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946 which governs CBI.
  • Government stated that it might impinge on the federal structure of the Constitution.

Why the parliamentary committee is in favour of new law for CBI?

As per the parliamentary committee, powers given to the CBI under the DSPE Act are not adequate considering the pace of changing times as it has grown into a more dynamic agency specialising in prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes.

In this context, there is need for a separate statute for the CBI for making it an independent and accountable agency.

Why the government is not in favour of new law for CBI?

As per the government,

  • Separate statute for the CBI will necessitate amendment of Constitution which may also impinge on the federal structure of the Constitution.
  • The mandate of Parliament to enact a law which would be in conflict with Entry 2 of List II of the Seventh Schedule which is in the domain of the States.
  • In this case, CBI may be conferred with powers which will impinge on all the powers of investigation of offences which are conferred on the State police.

About CBI:

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the non-constitutional and non-statutory body.

  • It is the foremost investigative police agency in India.
  • It was established in 1941 as Special Police Establishment and was renamed to present nomenclature in 1963.
  • It is under administrative control of Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Ministry of Personnel.
  • It derives power to investigate from Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • Its Headquarters is in New Delhi.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Economy

RBI to set up in-house enforcement cell

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up separate Enforcement Department to effectively monitor banks in case they violate regulations and speed up regulatory compliance.

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  • The department will be operational from the next financial year.

Key facts:

  • The department will mainly deal with the penalties imposed on banks for violation of norms. Currently, the penalties are determined by the banking and non-banking supervision departments against banks violating rules.
  • It aims to develop a sound framework and process for enforcement action.
  • It will serve as centralised department to deal with penalties imposed on banks. This will help RBI follow-up and maintain a record on banks performance.
  • It will deal with cases of non-compliance with regulations noticed either through the surveillance process or otherwise.

Background:

Regulation, enforcement and surveillance are three important facets of financial sector oversight mechanism.

  • Regulations determine the framework in which financial entities function so that transparency, prudence and comparability are ensured on the one hand and customer interests are protected on the other.
  • Surveillance is the process through which adherence to the regulations is monitored. Currently, in the RBI, there is a clear demarcation of the surveillance and regulatory functions, but it was not in the case with enforcement of rules.
  • Enforcement deals with cases of non-compliance with regulations were noticed either through the surveillance process or otherwise. Enforcement is an integral part of the supervisory process. RBI takes enforcement action even now. But focussed attention will increase the regulatory compliance.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

RBI to set up panel on strengthening cyber security

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an inter-disciplinary Standing Committee on cyber security to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it.

ias-toppers-standing-committee-on-cyber-security

Functions of the committee:

  • The committee will review the threats inherent in the existing or emerging technology on an ongoing basis.
  • It will study adoption of various security standards and protocols and also act as interface with stakeholders.
  • It will Suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience

Background:

The committee has been set up based on the recommendations of the expert panel on information technology examination and cyber security headed by Meena Hemachandra.

In recent times, banks have taken steps to strengthen their defences against cyber-attacks, but the diverse and ingenious nature of recent attacks has necessitated an ongoing review of the cyber security landscape and emerging threats.

Instances of recent Cyber-attacks in India:

  • In 2016, as many as 32.14 lakh debit cards were compromised in the cyber-attacks. It was the biggest-ever breach of debit card data in India. Of the debit cards affected, about 26.5 lakh were Visa and Master Card-enabled and 6 lakh were RuPay enabled.

To tackle the threat, RBI had issued swift guidelines to banks, mandating cyber security preparedness for addressing cyber risks.

[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Environment & Ecology

56th meeting of the Central Geological Programming Board

The 56th Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines is being held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Mines Shri Balvinder Kumar.

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About CGPB:

  • The Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) is an important platform for the Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines wherein the Annual Field Season Program (FSP) of GSI is finalized.
  • The members of CGPB and other stakeholders like State Governments, Central/State Government Exploration Agencies, PSUs etc. present their proposals for collaborative work with GSI.
  • Based on the priorities set by the Government of India and the importance and urgency of proposals presented by the members and stakeholders, the Annual Program of GSI, for Survey & Mapping, Exploration, Research and Development, and Training & Capacity building, during the forthcoming financial year is given a final shape.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Bilateral & International Relations

India to pitch global services accord to WTO chief Azevedo

India is all set to make a presentation to World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo and India Inc. on New Delhi’s proposal for a global pact to boost services trade.

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What is Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement?

Trade Facilitation in Services (TFS) Agreement is the global pact proposed by India to boost services trade at the WTO-level.

  • It aims to ease norms including those relating to movement of foreign skilled workers and professionals across borders for short-term work.
  • The proposed services pact is similar to the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in Goods adopted by the WTO Members in 2014 at Bali Summit to ease customs norms for boosting global goods trade.
  • TFS Agreement Covers measures across all modes of supply for services delivery in cross-border trade, related to entry into the market as well as those applied post-entry.
  • It seeks to ensure portability of social security contributions, as well as make sure charges or fees for immigration or visas transparent, reasonable and non-restrictive in nature.
  • It paves the way for a single window mechanism for foreign investment approvals. Ensure cross-border insurance coverage to boost medical tourism.
  • It ensures publication of measures impacting services trade and timely availability of relevant information in all the WTO official languages as well as free flow of data and information for cross-border supply of services.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and France in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology and innovation.

ias-toppers-india-and-france-in-field-of-science

  • The MoU was signed between India’s Technology Development Board (TDB), Department of Science & Technology and France’s public Investment Bank Bpifrance.

Key Facts:

  • The agreement will ensure exchange of best practices and setting up of coordinated measures to foster technological exchanges.
  • The exchanges under it will be through collaboration between companies, organizations and institutions of France and India.
  • The agreement also aims to carry out activities related to exchange of best practices in the field of Science & Technology through the India’s Technology Development Board and Bpifrance.
[Ref: PIB]

 

Cabinet apprised of India-Vietnam space agreement

The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the Framework Agreement between India and Vietnam on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.

ias-toppers-india-vietnam-space-agreement

  • The Framework Agreement was signed in September 2016.

Key facts:

  • The Framework Agreement will enable pursuing the potential interest areas of cooperation such as space science, technology and applications between both countries.
  • The agreement covers cooperation in remote sensing of the earth, satellite communication and satellite-based navigation; space science and planetary exploration.
  • It also covers use of spacecraft and space systems and ground system and application of space technology.
  • It will also lead to development of joint activity in field of application of space technologies for benefit of humanity.
  • The Framework Agreement will impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in field of remote sensing of earth; satellite navigation; satellite communication; space science and exploration of outer space.
[Ref: Business Standard]

 

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of Health and Medicine.

ias-toppers-india-and-senegal

  • A Working Group will be set up to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

The main areas of cooperation between the Parties will include the following:

  1. Integrated Disease Surveillance
  2. Medical Research
  3. Emergency Relief
  4. Hospital Management
  5. Drugs and Pharmaceutical products/hospital equipments
  6. Traditional Medicine
  7. AIDS Control
  8. Any other areas of mutual interest

Where is Senegal located?

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[Ref: PIB]

 

Key Facts for Prelims

2016 B C Roy Award

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  • On the occasion of the Doctors day (observed every year on 1st July), President Pranab Mukherjee has awarded Dr P Raghu Ram with the 2016 B C Roy Award.
  • Dr P Raghu Ram is the President of Association of Breast Surgeons of India
  • He was awarded for his outstanding service in the field of socio-medical relief.
  • The BC Roy Award is the highest recognition for medical practitioners in India.
  • It was instituted by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in 1976 in memory of renowned physician and former West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.
  • The award is bestowed annually 6 categories viz.
  1. Statesmanship of the Highest Order in India,
  2. Eminent medical person,
  3. Medical man-cum-statesman,
  4. Eminent person in philosophy,
  5. Eminent person in arts and
  6. Eminent person in Science.

 

Gujarat becomes first state to establishes Cashless System for PDS

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  • Gujarat became the first state in the country for establishing Cashless System for distribution of foodgrains.
  • Under this system, beneficiaries under National Food Security Act will need to carry only Aadhaar cards for getting foodgrains.
  • This will help in establishing the correct identity of beneficiaries, stopping the leakages of grains and eradicate corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • To achieve this feat, Gujarat government has installed Aadhaar enabled payment system in more than 17 thousand 200 Fair Price Shops, before the targeted date of 31st March 2017.

 

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