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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs [Prelims + Mains Focus] – 08th September 2018

  • IASbaba
  • September 8, 2018
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IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains

Focus)- 08th September 2018

Archives


(PRELIMS+MAINS FOCUS)


SAHI – India’s future mobility

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Infrastructure; Transportation

In news:

  • SAHI – Safe, Adequate, Holistic Infrastructure
  • PM Modi recommends for SAHI at Global Mobility Summit (held in New Delhi)
  • As fuel prices soar, PM Modi’s push for public transport at global summit got attention.
  • NITI Aayog report also called for efficient and convenient public transport to answer the twin problems of pollution and congestion.
  • PM Modi elaborated on ‘7Cs’ for the future of mobility — common, connected, convenient, congestion-free, charged, clean and cutting-edge.
  • Absence of good public transport system led to rapid rise in private vehicle ownership.
  • In crux – Public transport must be the cornerstone of India’s mobility initiatives.

Cow Vigilantism and Lynching: Rule 3 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – National; Issues affecting secular character and integrity

In news:

  • Rule 3 in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Establishment & Regulation of Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Rules, 2001, empowers “civil society groups” to protect animals.
  • According to Rule 3(5) of PCA Rules, 2001 – a State can confer powers upon “any society” in district to prevent cruelty against animals.
  • Rule 3 is providing State accreditation to cow vigilantism.
  • Rule also providing police powers to civil society groups to stop vehicles, search premises and seize animals.
  • Supreme Court expresses shock over this Rule.

Swachh Bharat catch-up

Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Government schemes and Policies; Health issue

About:

  • This October marks four years into the Swachh Bharat programme.
  • This mission emphasized on making India an ODF (Open Defecation Free) country by the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (2nd October 2019).

Key facts:

  • Bihar is the second worst performing State, lagging behind with almost 66% coverage.
  • Odisha, with 62.5% coverage, fares worse.

In news:

  • In order to become open defecation free (ODF), Bihar takes new route. It has given up on a model of only allowing community-based incentives for toilet construction.
  • The State has switched to allowing individual household-based incentives.

Do you know?

  • Under the Swachh Bharat programme, States were given freedom to tweak the way the scheme was implemented.
  • Every household building a toilet was eligible for an incentive of ₹12,000.

Person in news: Hima Das

In news:

  • Hima Das, India’s newest sprint star was nicknamed ‘Dhing Express’ after the little-known town that was the cultural and literary hub of Assam till the 1950s.
  • Hima bagged a gold and two silver medals in the recently concluded Asian Games.
  • Assam state govt. awards ₹1.6 crore to ‘Dhing Express’.

Miscellaneous

  • India-Iran Ties: Iran to proceed with handing over the responsibility of running the port to an Indian company in a month.
  • (India- US ties) COMCASA to help keep a watch over Indian Ocean: As a consequence of CISMOA, India will get access to Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System, or CENTRIXS, which is the secure communication system network of the US.

(MAINS FOCUS)


NATIONAL/ECONOMY

TOPIC: General Studies 2 and 3

  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Indian Economy – Financial Inclusion and Inclusive Growth

All about India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)

Introduction:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)
  • IPPB will act as a financial service provider that will operate under the country’s age-old postal department.
  • The new India Post Payments Bank can hasten financial inclusion.

Benefits:

  • The primary rationale behind the launch of IPPB is to help in the government’s goal of achieving financial inclusion, especially to the rural and unorganised sectors of the economy. (In short it will help in bringing the unbanked into the banking system).
  • It will also help reinvigorate the postal system, which has a wide network of branches across India. (Holders of postal savings accounts are worth over ₹85,000 crore.)
  • IPPB will also have a digital platform that is expected to make financial services more accessible even from remote locations.
  • IIPB will also focus on providing basic payments services such as social security payments, utility bill payments and money transfers.
  • It will also provide access to third-party financial services such as mutual funds, insurance, pension, and loan products.

Do you know?

  • IPPB has been set up as a 100% Government of India owned Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts.
  • It will initially have 650 branches and 3,250 access points in post offices across the country.

What are Payment Banks?

Payments Banks are banks with the following features:

  • They will provide a limited range of products such as acceptance of demand deposits and remittances of funds.
  • They will not perform the function of lending money in the form of loans.
  • These banks will have a wide network of access points particularly in remote areas.
  • They will supplement their own network with business correspondents and even depend on network provided by others.
  • Technology will be extensively used to add value.

Important Features of IPPB:

  • IPPB is offering 4% interest to its savings account customers.
  • IPPB is currently not offering its customers an ATM or debit card.
  • IPPB account holders will be issued a QR Card with a unique QR code. The QR card in an ATM since it is not an ATM card.
  • The QR code will be used to identify India Post Payments Bank account holders through smartphones or micro-ATMs. Further, after verification using biometric data, the customer is paid in cash.
  • According to RBI guidelines, one can hold a maximum of Rs 1 lakh in a savings account of a payments bank.
  • Funds exceeding Rs 1 lakh in the regular savings account can be transferred to the account holder’s linked Post Office Savings Account (POSA).
  • There is no cap on the number of withdrawals in a month. You can make unlimited deposits in a month, subject to the Rs 1 lakh limit.
  • Cheque book facility is not available.
  • There are no cash deposit or withdrawal charges. But for doorstep banking services, India Post Payments Bank will charge Rs 15 for digital transactions and Rs 25 for cash-based transactions.
  • Account holders can also use the mobile banking app for checking balance, statement, bill payments and for online transfers.

How India Post Payments Bank savings account differs from post office savings account?

  1. Post Office Savings Account (POSA) offer ATM facility.
  2. Cheque facility is available. (Min. balance 500rs)
  3. For non-cheque facility account, the minimum balance of Rs 50 has to be maintained.
  4. POSA offers 4% interest to account holders.
  5. At least one transaction of deposit or withdrawal in three financial years is necessary to keep the POSA active.

Key challenges:

  • Whether it can manage to earn the profits required to survive as a standalone business entity, given the severe restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on how payments banks in general can employ their funds.
  • The first wave of new payments banks that commenced business last year — Airtel, Paytm and Fino — have not exactly set the market on fire.
  • IPPB plans to charge nominal fees on money transfers and other financial services while investing idle customer deposits in safe government securities in order to earn interest. Whether this will be sufficient to cover interest and operational costs remains to be seen.
  • IPPB is also likely to face stiff competition from private companies, which are generally more nimble in adapting to business realities and far more customer-friendly compared to the government-owned behemoths.

Areas of Caution

Two areas where a cautious approach needs to be adopted are the understanding of the business model as well as the objective of financial inclusion that they seek to achieve.

However, if it succeeds, the new payments bank could usher in a new era of rapid financial inclusion across rural India.

Connecting the dots:

  • Payment Banks are the next big thing for the government’s success in financial inclusion. Comment. Highlight the hurdles in the way of their success and their integration with the existing banking system.

INTERNATIONAL/SECURITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2 and 3

  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora; their structure, mandate
  • Defence and Security

For a world free of chemical weapons

Introduction

The Chemical Weapons Convention Act was enacted in 2000 to give effect to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction signed by the government on January 14, 1993.

Do you know?

  • The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is a multilateral treaty that bans chemical weapons and requires their destruction within a specified period of time.
  • CWC negotiations started in 1980 in the UN Conference on Disarmament. The convention opened for signature on January 13, 1993, and entered into force on April 29, 1997.
  • The CWC is open to all nations and currently has 193 states-parties. Israel has signed but has yet to ratify the convention. Three states have neither signed nor ratified the convention (Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan).
  • The CWC is implemented by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which is headquartered in The Hague.
  • The OPCW receives states-parties’ declarations detailing chemical weapons-related activities or materials and relevant industrial activities.
  • After receiving declarations, the OPCW inspects and monitors states-parties’ facilities and activities that are relevant to the convention, to ensure compliance.
  • OPCW won the 2013 Nobel peace prize.

Features of the Chemical Weapons Convention Act of 2000

  • The Act defines chemical weapons as toxic chemicals, including munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm. The definition includes in its ambit “any equipment” specifically designed for employing chemical weapons.
  • It empowers the Centre to set up a National Authority to act as the “national focal point” for effective liaison with organisations and other state parties on matters relating to the Convention and for fulfilling the obligations of the country.
  • Section 19 of the Act gives full power of inspection of any person who is engaged in the production, processing, acquisition, consumption, transfer, import, export or use of any toxic chemical or discrete organic chemical.
  • Inspections extend to any place where any chemical weapon, old chemical weapon, or abandoned chemical weapon is located, or where a chemical weapon production facility exists.
  • The Act allows inspections teams to conduct “challenge inspections” of chemical facilities in the company of an Observer. An enforcement officer under the Act shall also accompany the team.
  • In 2010, the Act was amended to widen the scope of Section 9 to give the Centre power to appoint any of its own officers, other than those of the National Authority, as enforcement officers.
  • Section 16 has also been amended to provide that no person shall transfer to, or receive from, a state which is not a party to the Convention any toxic chemicals.

Functions of National Authority

  • Regulation and monitoring the development, production, processing, consumption, transfer or use of toxic chemicals or precursors as specified in the Convention, among others.
  • Issue directions and even close down facilities which violate the Convention. It can liaise with other countries to seek or give assistance and protection against the use of chemical weapons.

Conclusion:

  • Use of chemical weapons in ongoing Syrian civil war, and Salisbury attack are some of the recent examples, which increases the importance of CWC and OPCW.
  • This convention should be not only ratified and implemented globally but also there should be stringent international mechanism to control its violations.

Connecting the dots:

  • Use of chemical weapons in civil wars is brutal crime against humanity. Analyse the global scenario in the light of CWC. Also comment on India’s measures on the line.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)

Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Featured Comments and comments Up-voted by IASbaba are the “correct answers”.
  • IASbaba App users – Team IASbaba will provide correct answers in comment section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1) Consider the below statements:

  1. The Animal Welfare Board of India comes under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change.
  2. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules empowers “civil society groups” to protect animals.

Which of the statements above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None

Q.2) With reference to Animal Welfare Board of India, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a statutory body created under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  2. It can order the Central government to make a new law to prevent cruelty on Animals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.3) Global Mobility Summit was recently held in –

  1. Singapore
  2. India
  3. Nepal
  4. Japan

 

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