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PRELIMS PUNCHERS

  1. Gujarat Forest Department has announced an increase in the population of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest region.

The population of Asiatic lions in Gujarat’s Gir forest has increased by almost 29 per cent, according to a report released by the state. As per the figures release, the number of Asiatic lions in the Gir forest region has increased to 674 in 2020 from 523 in 2015.

Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. It is fully protected as national park and 1,153 km as wildlife sanctuary and part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests Eco region. It is the only area in Asia where Asiatic lions occur and is considered one of the most important protected areas in Asia because of its biodiversity. The seven major perennial rivers of the Gir region are Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval.

Asiatic Lion

The Asiatic lion or Indian lion is a population surviving today only in India. Protection Status

IUCN Red List is Endangered and schedule 1 Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 . In Saurashtra’s Gir Forest, an area of 1,412.1 km2 was declared as a sanctuary for Asiatic lion conservation in 1965. This sanctuary and the surrounding areas are the only habitats supporting the Asiatic lion. After 1965, a national park was established covering an area of 258.71 km2 where human activity is not allowed. In the surrounding sanctuary only Maldharis have the right to take their livestock for grazing

Sources :  https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetailm.aspx?PRID=1630733

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/the-latest-census-showed-a-rise-in-lion-numbers-but-it-may-be-time-to-update-the-counting-methods/article32110981.ece

  1. National Commission for Backward Classes

National Commission for Backward Classes is a constitutional body (123rd constitutional amendment bill 2017 and 102nd amendment 2018 in constitution to make it constitutional body) Article 338B of the Indian Constitution under India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established on 14 August 1993. It was constituted pursuant to the provisions of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993. The commission was the outcome of Indra Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India.

The Commission shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other Members and the conditions of service and tenure of office of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members so appointed shall be such as the President may by rule determine. The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and other Members of the Commission shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and sealThe Commission shall have the power to regulate its own procedure. The commission considers inclusions in and exclusions from the lists of communities notified as backward for the purpose of job reservations and tenders the needful advice to the Central Government as per Section 9(1) of the NCBC Act, 1993.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/obc-commissions-tenure-extended-by-6-months/article31904996.ece

https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-constitution-one-hundred-and-twenty-third-amendment-bill-2017

  1. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan

The Government of India launched the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (GKRA) initiative to tackle the impact of COVID-19 on shramik (migrant) workers in India. It is a rural public works scheme which was launched on 20 June 2020 with an initial funding of 50,000 Crore. GKRA aims to give 125 days of employment to 670,000 migrant workers, approximately two-thirds of the total migrant labourers force that has gone back to rural areas. The scheme covers 116 districts in six states, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and Jharkhand. The scheme is a joint effort by 12 different Ministries/Departments and covers 25 categories of works/ activities. The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry for this campaign and the campaign will be implemented in close coordination with the State Governments.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1632861

  1. FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering) (FATF), , is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001, its mandate was expanded to include terrorism financing.

The objectives of FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. FATF is a “policy-making body” that works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. FATF monitors progress in implementing its Recommendations through “peer reviews” (mutual evaluations) of member countries. Since 2000, FATF has maintained the FATF blacklist (formally called the “Call for action”) and the FATF greylist (formally called the “Other monitored jurisdictions”).The FATF Secretariat is located at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/fatf-on-the-warpath-against-terror-financing/article31934817.ece

  1. Equalization Levy

Equalization Levy was introduced in India in 2016, with the intention of taxing the digital transactions i.e. the income accruing to foreign e-commerce companies from India. It is aimed at taxing business to business transactions.

Equalization Levy is a direct tax, which is withheld at the time of payment by the service recipient. In case there is a delay in payment Interest is charged at 1% of the outstanding levy for every month or part thereof is delayed. The two conditions to be met to be liable to the levy:

  • The payment should be made to a non-resident service provider;
  • The annual payment made to one service provider exceeds Rs. 1,00,000 in one financial year

Services Covered Under Equalization Levy

Currently, not all services are covered under the ambit of equalization Levy. The following services covered:

  • Online advertisement;
  • Any provision for digital advertising space or facilities/ service for the purpose of online advertisement;

Source: https://cleartax.in/s/equalisation-levy

    https://www.thehindu.com/business/levy-on-digital-services-is-ambiguous-say-tax-experts/article32126519.ece

  1. PM SVANidhi

The PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on June, 2020 for providing affordable Working Capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihoods that have been adversely affected due to Covid-19 lockdown.

  • Vendors can avail a working capital loan of up to Rs. 10,000, which is repayable in monthly installments in the tenure of one year.
  • On timely/ early repayment of the loan, an interest subsidy @ 7% per annum will be credited to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer on quarterly basis.
  • There will be no penalty on early repayment of loan.
  • The scheme promotes digital transactions through cash back incentives up to an amount of Rs. 100 per month.
  • The vendors can avail the facility of escalation of the credit limit on timely/ early repayment of loan.

Sources: https://pmsvanidhi.mohua.gov.in/

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-centre-launches-scheme-for-street-vendors/article31725647.ece

  1. Kodumanal Port

Kodumanal was once a flourishing ancient trade city known as Kodumanam, as inscribed in Patirruppattu of Sangam literature. It is located on the northern banks of Noyyal River.

The city of the Chera dynasty was inhabited by highly skilled craftsmen specialized in making beads and high quality iron. The city played a major role in Indo-Roman trade since it is linked midway between Muziris port (Malabar Coast) and Puhar port (Coromandel Coast)

Recently, The Kodumanal excavation of 10 pots and bowls, instead of the usual three or four pots, placed outside three-chambered burial cists and inside the cairn-circle, threw light on burial rituals and the concept of afterlife in megalithic culture.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/excavation-at-kodumanal-reveals-megalithic-belief-in-afterlife/article31862510.ece

  1. Nagi Nagathi Bird Sanctuary

Nagi Bird Sanctuary is located in Jhajha Jamui district of south Bihar, near the Jharkhand border. It was declared a bird sanctuary as per Section 18 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is home to over 133 bird species. There are also a variety of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies which are yet to be studied and documented.  Nagi Dam Bird Sanctuary was declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. Nagi Dam derives water from the Nagi River and streams like Karma, Tarakura and Gauradangi.

Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/nitish-kumar-inaugurates-bihars-first-state-bird-festival-kalrav-at-jamui-districts-nagi-bird-sanctuary/articleshow/80305475.cms

  1. Raja Parbha festival

Raja parbha or Mithuna Sankranti is a three-day-long festival of womanhood celebrated in Odisha, India. The second day of the festival signifies beginning of the solar month of Mithuna from, which the season of rains starts. To celebrate the advent of monsoon, the joyous festival is arranged for three days by the villagers. Though celebrated all over the state it is more enthusiastically observed in all over the Odisha but celebrated with much fervour across the coastal districts. The first day is called “Pahili Raja”, second is “Raja Sankranti” and third is “Bhumi Dahana or Basi Raja”. During these three days women and girls take rest from work and wear new Saree, Alata, and ornaments. It is similar to Ambubachi Mela.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/narendra-modi-greets-people-of-odisha-on-raja-parba-festival/article31825372.ece

http://newsonair.com/News?title=Odisha%E2%80%99s-unique-festival-Raja-Parba-begins-today&id=391261

 

TODAY CURRENT AFFAIRS PRELIMS PUNCHERS

What is the news?

India and Philippines signed the agreement for procurement of defense material and equipment procurement. It is anticipated with sale of BrahMos cruise missile

  1. BrahMos

It is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world. It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace.

It is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation. The land-launched and ship-launched versions are already in service. An air-launched variant of BrahMos appeared in 2012 and entered service in 2019. A hypersonic version of the missile, BrahMos-II, is also presently under development with a speed of Mach 7–8 to boost aerial fast strike capability. The BrahMos-A is a modified air-launched variant of the missile with a range of 500 km which can be launched from a Sukhoi Su-30MKI as a standoff weapon.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/aligning-a-missile-deal-with-destination-manila/article34094305.ece

What is the news?

Privatization of public sector banks for improving efficiency with reforms

  1. Insolvency and bankruptcy code

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code is a one stop solution for resolving insolvencies which previously was a long process that did not offer an economically viable arrangement. The code aims to protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing business less cumbersome.

Features

  • Insolvency regulator: The Code establishes the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, to oversee the insolvency proceedings in the country and regulate the entities registered under it. The Board will have 10 members, including representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Law, and the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Insolvency professionals: The insolvency process will be managed by licensed professionals. These professionals will also control the assets of the debtor during the insolvency process.
  • Bankruptcy and Insolvency Adjudicator: The Code proposes two separate tribunals to oversee the process of insolvency resolution, for individuals and companies:
  • the National Company Law Tribunal for Companies and Limited Liability Partnership firms; and
  • the Debt Recovery Tribunal for individuals and partnerships

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/looking-beyond-privatisation/article34095356.ece

                        What is the news?

Looking beyond privatization for banking reforms and mounting NPA

NPA  likely to rise in first half of 2021 :FICCI -IBA

  1. Non-Performing Asset

A non-performing loan (NPL) is a bank loan that is subject to late repayment or is unlikely to be repaid by the borrower in full. Non-performing loans represent a major challenge for the banking sector, as it reduces the profitability of banks.

Non-performing loans are generally recognized as per the following criteria:

  • Payments of interest and principal are past due by 90 days or more
  • At least 90 days of interest payments have been capitalized, refinanced or delayed by agreement
  • Payments are less than 90 days overdue, but there are other good reasons to doubt that payments will be made in full.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/looking-beyond-privatisation/article34095356.ece

  1. New Development Bank

The New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The bank is headquartered in Shanghai, China. The first regional office of the NDB is in Johannesburg, South Africa. The initial subscribed capital of the NDB is $50 billion divided into paid-in shares  and callable shares . The initial subscribed capital of the bank was equally distributed among the founding members. The Agreement on the NDB specifies that every member will have one vote no one would have any veto powers.

The first day of the 6th BRICS summit held in Fortaleza, Brazil, the BRICS states signed the Agreement on the New Development Bank, which makes provisions for the legal basis of the bank In a separate agreement, a reserve currency pool worth $100 billion was set up by BRICS nations

Sources : https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/new-dfi-must-curb-reliance-on-foreign-funds-says-kv-kamath/article34094292.ece

What is the news?

Cabinet approval for establishment of New development financial institution

  1. Development finance institution

A development finance institution (DFI) also known as a development bank or development finance company (DFC) is a financial institution that provides risk capital for economic development projects on non commercial basis. DFIs often provide finance to the private sector for investments that promote development and to help companies to invest, especially in countries with various restrictions on the market.

Some development banks include socially responsible investing and impact investing criteria into their mandates. Governments often use development banks to form part of their development aid or economic development initiatives.

DFIs include multilateral development banks, national development banks, bilateral development banks, microfinance institutions, community development financial institution and revolving loan funds

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/new-dfi-must-curb-reliance-on-foreign-funds-says-kv-kamath/article34094292.ece 

What is the news?

Parliament cleared Appropriation bill for the session

  1. Appropriation Bill

Appropriation Bill gives power to the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for meeting the expenditure during the financial year. Post the discussions on Budget proposals and the Voting on Demand for Grants, the government introduces the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha. It is intended to give authority to the government to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund, the amounts so voted for meeting the expenditure during the financial year. The unique feature of the Appropriation Bill is its automatic repeal clause, whereby the Act gets repealed by itself after it meets its statutory purpose.

Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/lok-sabha-passes-appropriation-bill-completing-two-thirds-of-budget-exercise/articleshow/81552546.cms

 

What is the news?

India witnessed continued inflow of venture capital with 10 bn dollars

  1. Venture capital

Venture capital (VC) is a form of private equity and a type of financing that investors provide to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential. Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks, and any other financial institutions. It can also be provided in the form of technical or managerial expertise. Venture capital is typically allocated to small companies with exceptional growth potential, or to companies that have grown quickly and appear poised to continue to expand.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/business/despite-pandemic-india-saw-10-bn-vc-deals-in-20/article34094236.ece

PRELIMS QUESTION

  1. Consider the following statement with reference to  Appropriation bill
  2. Appropriation Bill gives power to the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidation fund of India
  3. As per article 112 of the Constitution, the government can withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund only after receiving approval from Parliament.

Select the correct statement using code given below.

(a). 1only       (b) 2 only

(c). Both     (d). None of the above

Answer : A

Appropriation Bill gives power to the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India for meeting the expenditure during the financial year. Post the discussions on Budget proposals and the Voting on Demand for Grants, the government introduces the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha. It is intended to give authority to the government to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund, the amounts so voted for meeting the expenditure during the financial year. As per article 114 of the Constitution, the government can withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund only after receiving approval from Parliament.

  1. The form of private equity financing that is provided by funds to startups, early-stage, and emerging companies that have been deemed to have high growth potential or which have demonstrated high growth (in terms of number of employees, annual revenue, scale of operations) is which capital  ?
  2. Floating captial
  3. Trading capital
  4. Venture capital
  5. Working capital

Answer : C

Venture capital (VC) is a form of private equity and a type of financing that investors provide to startup companies and small businesses that are believed to have long-term growth potential. Venture capital generally comes from well-off investors, investment banks, and any other financial institutions. It can also be provided in the form of technical or managerial expertise. Venture capital is typically allocated to small companies with exceptional growth potential, or to companies that have grown quickly and appear poised to continue to expand.

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