NIA examines Khalsa Aid functionary

#GS3 #InternalSecurity

Khalsa Aid

  • Khalsa Aid is a UK based international NGO with the aim to provide humanitarian aid in disaster areas and civil conflict zones around the world. 
  • The organisation is based upon the Sikh principle of "Recognise the whole human race as one".

SFJ

  • Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), formed in 2007, is a United States-based group seeking a separate homeland for Sikhs — a “Khalistan” in Punjab.
  • Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a law graduate from Panjab University and currently an attorney at law in the US, is the face of SFJ and its legal adviser. 
  • SFJ has been banned by the Home Ministry under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on grounds of secessionism.

National Investigation Agency:

  • Central agency established by India to combat terrorist activities in India. 
  • Established with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 as a reaction to the deadly 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.
  • HQ: New Delhi 
  • NIA is empowered to deal with the terror-related crimes across states without any special permission from the state governments.

 

 

Two Chinese nationals arrested by ED for money laundering

#GS3 #GS2 #Economy #Security

The Enforcement Directorate was on an investigation into a racket allegedly involving Chinese companies that used shell entities for hawala operations in India.

Shell Companies

  • A Shell Company is a non-trading company used as a vehicle for various financial activities.
  • These are companies without any tangible business.
  • The government views them with suspicion as some of them could be used for money laundering, tax evasion and other illegal activities.
  • In India, shell companies have traditionally been used for rotating and siphoning off funds through fictitious sales, inflated purchases, unjust commissions or for creating equity for individuals operating behind the scenes.
  • Certain laws in India that helps to curb illegal activities and target shell companies are:
  1. Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2016
  2. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002
  3. The Companies Act, 2013.

Hawala

  • Hawala is an informal method by which money can change hands without the use of banks. This works through codes, contacts and trust with no paperwork at all.

Enforcement Directorate

The Enforcement Directorate, also called Directorate General of Economic Enforcement is a law enforcement and economic intelligence agency of India that enforce economic laws and combats economic crime.

  1. Objective: Handling Exchange Control Law violations under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act,1947. 
  2. ED is presently under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  3. HQ: New Delhi 
  4. ED is headed by the Director of Enforcement, an IRS officer. 

 

 

U.K. invites PM Modi to G7 summit in June

#PrelimsFacts

G7

  • The Group of Seven (G7) is a grouping of the world's seven largest developed economies whose government heads meet annually to discuss international economic and monetary issues.
  • The G-7 has its roots in G5, an informal meeting of the finance ministers of France, West Germany, the U.S, Great Britain, and Japan. This emerged post 1973 oil crisis. 
  • This led to the French President to expand its ambit for further discussions on global oil.
  • With Canada’s entry, the first meeting was held with every G-7 nations. It was hosted by the United States in Puerto Rico in 1976.
  • G7 Summits are held annually and hosted on a rotation basis by the group's members.

Members: 

  1. France,
  2. Germany,
  3. The United Kingdom,
  4. Italy,
  5. The United States of America,
  6. Canada,
  7. Japan
  8. The European Union is sometimes considered an eighth member of the G-7, since it holds all the rights and responsibilities of full members except to chair or host the meeting.

 

 

Centre extends Pawan Hans bidding deadlines by a month

#GS3 #Economy

Disinvestment

  • Disinvestment is the sale or liquidation of assets by the government. Generally public sector enterprises, projects, or other fixed assets.
  • The government engages in disinvestment to avoid fiscal burden on the exchequer, or to raise finance for certain needs.
  • Strategic disinvestment is the transfer of the ownership and control of a public sector entity to some other entity (mostly to a private sector entity).

Why disinvestment? 

  • To achieve budgetary needs
  • To decrease fiscal deficit
  • To better public finances and achieve economic efficiency
  • To enhance efficiency of individual enterprise to diversify the ownership of PSU 
  • To raise funds for technological upgradation, modernization and expansion of PSUs
  • To raise funds for golden handshake (VRS)
  • To introduce, competition and market discipline
  • To fund growth and development programmes
  • To encourage wider share of ownership
  • To depoliticise non-essential services
  • Transfer of Commercial Risks

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management

  • The Department of Disinvestment was one of the Departments under the Ministry of Finance. It was renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) from 14th April, 2016.
  • The mandate of the Department is as follows:
    • All matters relating to the management of Central Government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in Central Public Sector Undertakings.
    • All matters relating to the sale of Central Government equity through offer for sale or private placement or any other mode in the erstwhile Central Public Sector Undertakings.

 

 

Aero India to showcase indigenous helicopters

#PrelimsFacts

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL)

  • HAL is an Indian aerospace and defence firm under the Indian government.
  • HQ: Bangalore.
  • Administered by Ministry of Defence.
  • Primarily, HAL engages in aerospace activities.
  • It deals with fabrication & production of aircraft, design, helicopters, jet engines & their spare parts. 
  • It has multiple branches spread across India: Bangalore, Kanpur, Nasik, Koraput, Korwa, Lucknow, Kasaragod and Hyderabad.

Indigenous products developed by HAL so far: 

  1. L-40 stages of Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk II. for ISRO.
  2. Propellant tanks of PSLV, GSLV MkII and GSLV MkIII.
  3. Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) Mk1
  4. Light Combat Aircraft Mk. 1A
  5. Light Combat Helicopter Rudra
  6. Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv

Defence Indigenisation

  • Indigenisation is when a country is developing and producing defence equipments within the country for being self reliant and also to reduce pressure on imports.
  • One of the primary objectives of Department of Defence Production is to achieve self-reliance in defence manufacturing.
  • Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and even private organisations play a critical role in indigenisation of defence industries.

 

 

Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020

#GS2 #Governance

Three cases filed in UP for allegedly luring people to convert to another religion

  • The Uttar Pradesh government’s Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020. 
  • But the law has been criticized for violating an individual’s right to choose one’s partner which has been declared as a fundamental right (under Article 21) by the Supreme Court. 
  • It also has the potential to violate the rights given under Articles 25 to 28 which guarantees an Indian citizen the freedom to practice any religion of his or her choice.
  • Many other states are said to follow suit on similar lines.
  • The UP ordinance prohibits any religious conversion due to coercion, force, undue influence, allurement, fraud or by marriage and makes such a marriage liable to be declared void. 
  • It also makes such an act of conversion a non-bailable criminal offence.
  • The law reflects patriarchy and communalism.

 

 

 

INDIAN EXPRESS EXPLAINED.

Kinds Of Agri-Food Policy India Needs.

Context:

Ongoing discussion on the three contentious farm laws with protesting farmers, India needs to frame an optimal agri-food policy to address both short-run and long-term challenges.

How does one design an optimal agri-food policy?

  • It should be able to produce enough food, feed and fibre for its large population.the best step is to invest in R&D for agriculture, and its extension from laboratories to farms and irrigation facilities. It is believed that developing countries would invest at least one per cent of their agri-GDP in agri-R&D and extension. India invests about half.
  • It should do so in a manner that not only protects the environment — soil, water, air, and biodiversity — but achieves higher production with global competitiveness. 
  • This can be done by switching from the highly subsidised input price policy (power, water, fertilisers) and MSP/FRP policy for paddy, wheat and sugarcane, to more income support policies linked to saving water, soil and air quality. 
  • It should enable seamless movement of food from farm to fork, keeping marketing costs low, save on food losses in supply chains and provide safe and fresh food to consumers.
  • This segment has been crying for reforms for decades, especially with respect to bringing about efficiency in agri-marketing and lowering transaction costs.
  • And, finally, consumers should get safe and nutritious food at affordable prices. The public distribution of food, through PDS, that relies on rice and wheat, and that too at more than 90 per cent subsidy over costs of procurement, stocking and distribution.

Conclusion:

Full food subsidy bill in the central budget rather than putting it under the carpet of FCI borrowings. 

 

SO Musings: Agricultural Policy of Swatantra Party - Spontaneous Order

 

 

 

 

The Hindu Editorials Analysis. 

Financial boom at a time of economic stagnation.

Context:

With the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic during April-June (Q1) of 2020, India’s GDP growth rate in real terms sank to a low of minus 23.1%. 

The deceleration in the second quarter continued at minus 7.5%. The official advance estimate for 2020-21 also stands at a negative again, of minus 7.5%. GDP in India has been subdued even before the pandemic, declining from 6.12% in 2018 to 4.18% for 2019, while the financial sector has continued moving up.

Reasons for the Slowdown in the Economic Growth:

  • The slowdown in the Indian economy is partly cyclical and partly structural.
  • Two cyclical factors are Shadow banking stress (NBFC crisis) and weaker global demand.

Structural factors may include:

  • The rates of savings and investment in the Indian economy have declined, as also exports and total credit.
  • This has led to a slowdown among the major industries, like the automobiles, diamond, textiles industry, and several Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) are experiencing a continuous decline, which has led to the retrenchment of 3.5 lakh workers so far.
  • Agriculture is in crisis today on account of rising costs of inputs and low prices of produces, and low public investments in this sector.
  • Apart from it, there is income stagnation in urban areas.
  • The slowdown in consumption is the major worry for India’s economic slump (consumption has been the main driver of India’s growth).
  • There is a sharp fall in Private Consumption and as well as Public Expenditure.
  • Externally, the US-China trade war is the leading dampener in India's growth story.
  • In addition to this, the timing of some of the policy changes, the goods and services tax, demonetisation, measures to curb corruption, and the move to flexible inflation targeting led to a combination of lower inflation, higher real rates, and lower nominal growth.

BIASA BASICS:

UPSC GS-3: ECONOMY

Monetary Policy is a strategy used by the Central Bank to control and regulate the money supply in an economy. It is also known as credit policy. 

In India, the Reserve Bank of India looks after the circulation of money in the economy.

The primary purposes of the monetary policy include bringing price stability, controlling inflation, strengthening the banking system, economic growth, etc. The monetary policy focuses on all the matters which have an influence on the composition of money, circulation of credit, interest rate structure. The measures adopted by the apex bank to control credit in the economy are broadly classified into two categories:

  • General Measures (Quantitative Measures):
  • Bank Rate
  • Reserve Requirements i.e. CRR, SLR, etc.
  • Repo Rate Reverse Repo Rate
  • Open market operations

Selective Measures (Qualitative Measures):

  • Credit Regulation
  • Moral persuasion
  • Direct Action
  • Issue of directives
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