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Daily Current Affairs : 25 JUNE 2019: The Hindu Analysis


It is a proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between ASEAN member states and 6 Asia-Pacific states having existing FTA with the ASEAN. The list of the members includes :
  • ASEAN : Burma (also known as Myanmar), Indonesia, Laos,  the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Asia - Pacific nations having existing FTA with ASEAN : New Zealand, India, Japan, China, South Korea and Australia.
The negotiation for this FTA were proposed in 2012 at ASEAN summit of Cambodia.

It is the largest economic bloc of the world and is the GDP of the member states of RCEP is expected to amount approximately $250 trillion by 2050. As for now, it covers nearly half of the global economy and a population of 3.7 billion people with an overall GDP of approximately 39% of the world's GDP (close to $50 trillion).

Any other external economic partners are also eligible for the partnership of  this FTA, these may include partners such as Central Asian nations and other in South Asia and Oceania that are not currently a part of it.



Special category status is provided to those states of the country that meet certain requirements such as:  hilly and challenging terrain, strategic place along global boundaries, low per capita earnings, low population density or the existence of large tribal population, monetary and environmental backwardness and non-viable nature of state finances.

What is the criteria for rewarding the SCS status?
  1. Crisis of Resource is prevalent in state.
  2. Low per capita income of state.
  3. State finances are non-viable in nature.
  4. State suffers an infrastructural and economic backwardness.
  5. Presence of a considerably large tribal population.
  6. The terrain is hilly or is difficult to navigate.
  7. The state is located along the strategic international borders.
  8. The state has a very low population density. 
What are the benefits of the SCS status?
  1. These states are given a privilege of exemption from Excise duty,  Custom Duty, Corporate Tax, Income Tax and various other taxes in order to attract huge investments in the State.
  2. 90% of expenditure of all the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of the Govt. of India is borne by the Central govt. in the form of grant to the State and the remaining 10% of assistance is provided in the form of loan at 0% interest rate.
  3. A large value of central budget's plan expenditure that amounts to approximately 30% of the Budget's plan expenditure goes to the Special Category States.
  4. These States gets preference in getting funds from the center that attracts huge investment and development.
  5. The unspent money gets forwarded to the next financial year instead of getting lapse in case of these special category states.
Which States of India have this Status?

This Status is currently bestowed to 8 North-eastern (Manipur, Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim) and 3 Himalayan States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand.



National Institute of Public Finance and Policy is a leading government organization in economic and policy study and research. The Institute has made effective contributions to research in the fields of income and taxation, tax management, public expenditure, macroeconomic policies, fiscal federalism and other policy issues at both the level of Government i.e., Central and State Government.
Its governing body consists of : 
  • 3 persons from the Ministry of Finance,
  • 1 persons from Planning Commission(now, NITI Aayog),
  • 1 persons from India's Reserve Bank
  • 3 persons from sponsoring state governments, 
  • 3 distinguished economists
  • 3 heads of sister research institutions, and 
  • Members of other sponsoring agencies and invitees.

National Institute of Financial Management is a center of excellence dealing in capacity building of experts in the fields of Financial Management,  Public Policy and other issues related to governance. It was set up in 1993 as a registered society under Finance Ministry, GoI.

NIFM plays a major role in reforms in governance and administration by giving a platform for effective communication and an interchange of ideas & experiences among various officers from organized services, state governments and between civil and defense personnel
  • President of NIFM : Union Minister of Finance. 
  • Chairman of Board of Governors (BOG) : Secretary (Expenditure), Government of India.

National council of applied Economic Research was established in 1956 and is the oldest and the largest non-profit, independent and economic policy research institute
  • Its present governing body is headed by Mr. Nandan M Nilekani, former Chairman of UIDAI and former CEO of Infosys Ltd. Since May 2011, it has been headed by its fifth Director-General, Dr. Shekhar Shah, who joined NCAER from the World Bank where he served as South Asia's Regional Economic Adviser.
Archeological Survey of India (ASI) was established in 1861 with the main objective of  surveying, exploring, conserving, preserving, and protecting the monuments and other sites of National and International importance. It is an attached office of Ministry of Culture.
  • It is the successor organisation of The Asiatic Society of India.
  • Its foundation stone was laid by Sir Alexander Cunningham with the help of Viceroy Canning.
  • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It regulates all the country's archeological operations in accordance with the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act,1958 which defines "Ancient Monument" as : 'Any structure, building or monument, or any  interment site, or any cave, rock sculpture or inscription or monolith of historical,  archaeological or artistic value that has existed for at least 100 years". Of all the locations and monuments protected, UNESCO has placed 29 properties on the World Heritage List. These includes :
    • CULTURAL (23 sites)
      • Agra Fort
      • Ajanta Caves
      • Buddhist monuments of Sanchi
      • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
      • Churches and Convents of Goa
      • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus
      • Elephanta Caves
      • Ellora Caves
      • Fatehpur Sikri
      • Great Living Chola Temples
      • Group of Monuments at Hampi
      • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
      • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
      • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
      • Khajuraho Group of Monuments
      • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
      • Mountain Railways of India
      • Qutb Minar and its Monuments in Delhi
      • Red Fort Complex
      • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
      • Sun Temple, Konârak
      • Taj Mahal
      • The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
    • NATURAL (6 sites) 
      • Kaziranga National Park
      • Keoladeo National Park
      • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
      • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
      • Sundarbans National Park
      • Western Ghats 



 It seeks to amend the following :
  1. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery for Financial and Other Subsidies, its Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, 
  2. The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and 
  3. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. 
1. Offline verification 

Earlier : Under the Aadhaar Act, Aadhaar ' authentication ' can verify the identity of an individual which includes submitting to the Central Identity Data Repository for checking the Aadhaar number and their biometric or demographic information.  

NowThe Ordinance enables for ' offline verification ' of an individual's identity, without authentication, by means of laws stipulated by the Indian Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI).

2. Voluntary use of Aadhar

Earlier  The Act offers for the use of the Aadhaar number as evidence of a person's identity, subject to authentication
NowThe Ordinance replaces this provision by stating that, by authentication or offline verification, any person may willingly use his Aadhaar number to create his identity.  The Ordinance says that for the provision of any service, authentication of an individual's identity via Aadhaar can only be made compulsory by Parliament's law.

3. Usage of Aadhaar

Earlier : Under the Act, the use of Aadhaar number is allowed under any law to establish an individual's identity by the State or a corporate body. 

Now : Provision is removed by the Ordinance.

4. Aadhaar number of kids

Earlier : No such provision.

NowThe Ordinance indicates that the enrolling organization shall seek the approval of its parent or guardian when enrolling a baby to acquire an Aadhaar amount. The organization must notify the parent or guardian of how the data will be used, the recipients it will be shared with, and their right to access the data.

5.  Disclosure of information in certain cases
Earlier According to the Act, restrictions on the security and confidentiality of information related to Aadhaar do not apply in the event of disclosure pursuant to a District Court order (or above). 

Now : This is amended by the Ordinance to allow only for High Court (or above) orders.

6. UIDAI Fund

Earlier : All charges and revenues gathered by UIDAI are attributed to India's Consolidated Fund under the Act. 
Now : The Ordinance removes this provision and establishes the UIDAI Fund.

source : PRS India


  • Medical Student's Syndrome : Also known as the syndrome of the intern or the syndrome of the medical school, this relates to a phenomenon in which medical learners who learn about a fresh disease may start to believe they are suffering from its symptoms. They may even feel at enhanced danger of contracting it.
  • Modi, Xi and Putin are planning to have trilateral summit at G­20.
  • Cogito is one of various Artificial Intelligence programs used in call centres and other workplaces. 
  • NASA’s Curiosity finds high amount of methane on Mars. 
    • What you need to know about Curiosity?
      • It is a robotic rover that is presently exploring the Red Planet.
      • It has been in operation since 2012.
      • It is a nuclear-powered rover that will examine the life-bearing capacity of the Red Planet.
      • It is equipped with mobile science laboratory and is a part of the United States' Mars Science Laboratory Programme.

you will never remain motivated always, so you must learn to be disciplined first.


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