DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY : 11th FEBRUARY 2020

Daily Current Affairs: 11th February 2020: The Hindu+PIB

The following compilation has been made keeping in mind the need of the UPSC IAS exam. Each and every topic which has been included in this compilation is taken from very authentic and relevant source including The HinduThe Indian ExpressBusiness Standard, Press Information Bureau, etc.

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As per the evolving pattern of the UPSC IAS prelims and mains exam each and every topic has been handpicked keeping in mind the syllabus of the exam.

Table of Contents

    UN WORLD PULSES DAY

    Context: India hosts the UN World Pulses Day celebrations on in New DelhiTheUN World Pulses Dayis celebrated every year on10th Februaryacross the world.

    UN WORLD PULSES DAY

    WHAT ARE THE INITIATIVES OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THIS SECTOR?

    • Government’s primary focus given to the sector is seen from the budgetary allocations made for the Agriculture and Rural Development sectors which is about Rs. 3 lakh crore
    • While the Agriculture sector budget was Rs.27 thousand crore couple of years ago, the Government has allocated over Rs. 1.5 lakh crore in FY 2020-21. 
    • After having achieved surplus foodgrains production, the country has turned self-sufficient in Pulses cultivation since 2016-17 with the combined efforts of all stakeholders. 
    • In the crop year 2018-19 India produced 22 million tonnes of Pulses and for the next year a target of 26.30 million tonnes is projected.
    • Government has raised the MSP by one-and-a-half times based on recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee.
    • e-NAM has been strengthened with a view of One Nation One Market which has provided farmers access to better and wider market area ensuring a fair price. Already 585 Mandis have joined the eNAM portal and another 400 Mandis will be added soon. 
    • In order to strengthen the logistics associated with the Agriculture sector, a new Kisan Rail has been announced in this budget which will benefit both the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors.
    • To promote exports of fruits from the North-East, the Kisan  Udan Yojana has been announced in the budget.

    ABOUT UN WORLD PULSES DAY World Pulses Day is a designated United Nations global event to recognize the importance of pulses (chickpeas, dry beans, lentils, dry peas and lupins among others) as a global food. It has been proclaimed on February 10 of each year since 2019 by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 20, 2018. The event was organized this year by NAFED in collaboration with Global Pulse Confederation (GPC). On the occasion, the Minister launched the “Family pack of NAFED pulses and NAFED Organic pulses”. A NAFED Coffee Table Book, recording its journey since inception on 2nd October, 1958 to the present and an FAO publication “Global Economy of Pulses” were also launched. About NAFED National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) is an apex organization of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India, under Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. It was founded on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October 1958 to promote the trade of agricultural produce and forest resources across the nation. It is registered under Multi State Co-operative Societies Act. It has its headquarters in New Delhi, along with four regional offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, apart from 28 zonal offices in capitals of states and important cities. NAFED is the nodal agency to implement price stabilization measures under “Operation Greens” which aims to double the farmers’ income by 2022.In2008, it established,National Spot Exchange,a Commodities exchange as a joint venture ofFinancial Technologies (India) Ltd. (FTIL). ABOUT GLOBAL PULSE CONFEDERATION (GPC) The Global Pulse Confederation (GPC), which was established in 1963 in France, is now headquartered at Dubai since 2009. It is a non-profit Confederation to promote production, consumption, awareness and trade of pulses, representing every component of supply chain related to the pulse industry such as growers, traders, govt bodies, trade promotion entities, processors and consumers.  It is the Confederation of 26 national associations and thousands of corporates engaged in pulses trade in over 50 countries.

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    STAR RATING OF COAL MINES

    Context: Ministry of Coal (MoC) has launched a web portal for star rating of coal mines in order to promote green, safe and sustainable mining practices using technology as a tool.

    STAR RATING OF MINES IN INDIA

    The new Portal launched in New Delhi enables alloperational coal minesacross India forself-rating, their subsequent validation byCoal Controller’s Organization (CCO), further evaluation and finally award of star rating.  HOW THIS STAR RATING OF COAL MINES WORK? Based on the star ratings obtained through a well-defined mechanism on this web portal, the highest scoring mines in the country will be awarded in a public ceremony. Besides, all the mines will be given an official certificate by the CCO mentioning their star rating and the particular reporting year.  The rating criteria of the Mines as per laid down procedures of the Star Rating Policy for Coal Mines in India are as follows:

    • 5-Star Ratings: Score from 91 to 100%
    • 4-Star Ratings: Score from 81 to 90%
    • 3-Star Ratings: Score from 71 to 80% 
    • 2-Star Ratings: Score from 61 to 70% 
    • 1-Star Ratings: Score from41 to 60%
    • No Star Ratings: Score from 0 to 40%

    The portal will provide a login to each coal mine for self-evaluation along with necessary documents for testimonials. The field offices of CCO will be provided a separate login to the web portal through which they can access the submissions of self-evaluation.

    Ministry of Coal last year had formulated a Star Rating Policy for Coal Mines in India. This policy envisages 50 evaluation parameters in Opencast Mines and 47 in Underground Mines as star rating criteria under seven broad modules namely:

    • Mining Operations Related Parameters; 
    • Environment related parameters; 
    • Adoption of Technologies: Best Mining Practices; 
    • Economic performance; 
    • Rehabilitation & Resettlement related parameters; 
    • Worker related Compliance;
    • Safety and security related parameters.

    INVESTOR EDUCATION AND PROTECTION FUND (IEPF)

    Context: Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Anurag Singh Thakur, in a written reply to Lok Sabha has put forward the performance of Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF).

    INVESTOR EDUCATION AND PROTECTION FUND

    The Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) is to be inter alia utilised for distribution of disgorged amount among eligible and identifiable applicants who have suffered losses due to wrong actions by any person, in accordance with the orders made by the Court which had ordered disgorgement WHAT IS THIS FUND? Investor Education and Protection Fund or IEPF is a fund set up under the Section 205C of the Companies Act, 1956 in order to pool all the dividends of the Asset Management Companies, matured deposits, share application interests or money, debentures, interests, etc. that are unclaimed for 7 years All the money collected from the mentioned sources has to be transferred to IEPF. Investors, who are trying to seek a refund for their unclaimed rewards can now do so from the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IEPF) The fund has been set up under the guidance of SEBI and Ministry of Corporate Affairs India. WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF INVESTOR EDUCATION AND PROTECTION FUND OR IEPF? The major objectives of Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) are: 

    • Educating investors about how the market operates. 
    • Making investors educated enough so that they can analyse and take informed decisions. 
    • Educating investors about the volatility of the markets. 
    • Making investors realise their rights and various laws about Investing. 
    • Promoting research and surveys to spread knowledge among the investors.

    The following amounts shall be part of IEPF, if they remain unpaid for a period of 7 years from the date of declaration:

    • Amounts in the unpaid dividend accounts of companies; 
    • The application moneys received by companies for allotment of any securities and due for refund;
    • Matured deposits with companies; 
    • Grants and donations given to the Fund by the Central Government, State Governments, companies or any other institutions for the purposes of the Fund; 
    • The interest or other income received out of the investments made from the Fund. 

    WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS?

    • Till 05.02.2020, no order for distribution of any amount has been received. 
    • During the last 3 yearsno funds have been allocated from IEPF AuthoritytoNon-Government Organisations (NGOs) and hence no complaints regarding misappropriation of funds by NGOs have been received in the last 3 years.  
    • The IEPF is inter-alia utilised for settlement of claims filed by Claimants and promotion of investor education, awareness and promotion
    • TheIEPF Authorityhas a toll free helplineto provide the status of refund applications to the Claimants. The number also provides a mechanism for the companies to provide resolution with reference to the various forms relating to the IEPF filed by them. 
    • An Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) has also put in place which gives information about the status of the claim filed by the Claimant. 
    • The IEPF Authority organizes Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs), for creating awareness amongst the Investors as a part of its mandate. During the last 3 years, 35,686 such programmes have been organised in rural and urban areas of the country.

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    INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF INDIA

    Context: Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) is collaborating with Zonal Cultural Centers of Ministry, collating and preparing a list of ICH elements for National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE IN INDIA

    Along with this establishment of an‘Indian Institute for Culture’is at conceptual stage and a mission calledNational Culture Mapping portalis being conceptualized for aggregating art forms and artists. 

    Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture is the nodal agency for the Scheme for ‘Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India’. WHAT IS INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE?

    An intangible cultural heritage (ICH) is basically a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill considered by UNESCO to be part of a place’s cultural heritage. It comprises“nonphysical intellectual property, such as folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge, and language”in contrast totangible heritage (i.e.,“physical objects and artifacts belonging to a culture”). In2001,UNESCOmade a survey among States and NGOs to try to agree on a definition, and theConvention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was drafted in2003 for its protection and promotion. Therefore, according to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the intangible cultural heritage are the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills (including instruments, objects, artifacts, cultural spaces), that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage”. It is sometimes called living cultural heritage, and is manifested in the following domains:

    • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
    • Performing arts;
    • Social practices, rituals and festive events;
    • Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
    • Traditional craftsmanship.

    WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS ON THE LIST IN INDIA?

    • 2008: Tradition of Vedic chanting; Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana; and Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre.
    • 2009: Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas, India.
    • 2010: Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala; Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan; and Chhau dance.
    • 2012: Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
    • 2013: Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur.
    • 2014: Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India.
    • 2016: Yoga; and Nawrouz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowrouz, Nawrouz, Nauryz, Nooruz, Nowruz, Navruz, Nevruz, Nowruz, Navruz.
    • 2017: Kumbh Mela

    EXERCISE AJEYA WARRIOR-2020

    Context:  The 5th edition of Joint Military Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR-2020 between India and United Kingdom will be conducted at Salisbury Plains, United Kingdom from 13 to 26 February 2020.

    AJEYA WARRIOR-2020

    The exercise is conducted alternatively in United Kingdom and India. The exercise will comprise of 120 soldiers each from Indian and United Kingdom Army who would be sharing their experiences gained during conduct of various counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in the past. AIM: The aim of this exercise is to conduct company level joint training with emphasis on counter terrorists operation in Urban and SemiUrban areas.  SIGNIFICANCE: In the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR with United Kingdom is an important exercise in terms of the security challenges faced by both the nations in the realm of changing facets of global terrorism. Further, Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR will promote defence cooperation and enhance interoperability while sharing experiences between both the armies. OTHER EXERCISES: India and UK hold joint naval exercises called Konkan exercise from 2004. The countries also hold Indra Dhanush Exercise since 2006. Indra Dhanush is a joint air-to-air exercise. LOCATION DETAILS: Salisbury Plains are located in Chalk Plateau. The plains are famous for archaeological monument Stonehenge which was built in Neolithic and Bronze age between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. It is one of the World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Archaeologists believe that Stonehenge would have been a burial ground. Deposits of human bones were found in the site that were dated to 3000 BC.

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    FDI IN DEFENCE PRODUCTS

    Context: Information regarding the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Defence Products has been provided in a written reply to Rajya Sabha by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik .

    FDI IN DEFENCE

    WHAT IS FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI)? A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in one country by an entity based in another country. It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolio investment by a notion of direct control. The origin of the investment does not impact the definition, as an FDI: the investment may be made either “inorganically” by buying a company in the target country or “organically” by expanding the operations of an existing business in that country. FDI IN INDIA Foreign investment was introduced in 1991 under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), driven by then finance minister Manmohan Singh. India disallowed overseas corporate bodies (OCB) to invest in India and imposes cap on equity holding by foreign investors in various sectors, current FDI in aviation and insurance sectors is limited to a maximum of 49%. Starting from a baseline of less than $1 billion in 1990, a 2012 UNCTAD survey projected India as the second most important FDI destination (after China) for transnational corporations during 2010–2012 As per the data, the sectors that attracted higher inflows were services, telecommunication, construction activities and computer software and hardware Mauritius, Singapore, US and UK were among the leading sources of FDI. Based on UNCTAD data FDI flows were $10.4 billion, a drop of 43% from the first half of the last year. Nine from 10 largest foreign companies investing in India (from April 2000- January 2011) are based in MauritiusIn 2015, India emerged as top FDI destination surpassing China and the US.  India attracted FDI of $31 billion compared to $28 billion and $27 billion of China and the US respectively. India received $63 billion in FDI in 2015. India also allowed 100% FDI in many sectors during 2016.  WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF FDI?

    • An increase in FDI may be associated with improved economic growth due to the influx of capital and increased tax revenues for the host country. 
    • Besides, the trade regime of the host country is named as an important factor for the investor’s decision-making. Host countries often try to channel FDI investment into new infrastructure and other projects to boost development. 
    • Greater competition from new companies can lead to productivity gains and greater efficiency in the host country and it has been suggested that the application of a foreign entity’s policies to a domestic subsidiary may improve corporate governance standards
    • Foreign investment can result in the transfer of soft skills through training and job creation, the availability of more advanced technology for the domestic market and access to research and development resources. 
    • The local population may benefit from the employment opportunities created by new businesses.

    FDI IN DEFENCE PRODUCTS

    In May, 2001, the Defence Industry sector, which was otherwise reserved for the public sector, was opened up to 100% for Indian private sector participation, with Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to 26% both subject to licensing. 

    Further, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry has allowed FDI under automatic route upto 49% and above 49% through government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.

    As per the data furnished by 79 companies that are operating in Defence and Aerospace sector, so far, FDI inflows of over Rs 1834 crores have been reported after 2014 under both government and automatic route. 

    By allowing higher FDI in the Defence sector, the global companies having high-end technologies can be encouraged to set up their manufacturing base in India in collaboration with Indian companies, thereby resulting in creation of employment opportunities, saving of foreign exchange and increasing indigenisation. 

    FDI is one of the sources which are available for the industry in order to access some of the technologies required to indigenously design, develop and produce the equipment, weapon systems/platforms required for defence.

    WHAT ARE THE STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT TO BOOST THE INDIAN DEFENCE SECTOR?

    • Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) has been revised in 2016 wherein specific provisions have been introduced for stimulating growth of the domestic defence industry.
    • A new category of procurement ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ has been introduced in DPP-2016 to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment. 
      • It has been accorded top most priority for procurement of capital equipment. 
    • Besides this, preference has been accorded to‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’& ‘Make’ categories of capital acquisition over‘Buy (Global)’ & ‘Buy &Make (Global)’ categories.
    • FDI Policy has been revised and under the revised policy, FDI is allowed under automatic route upto 49% and beyond 49% through Government route wherever it is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded.
    • An innovation ecosystem for Defence titled Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) has been launched in April, 2018 which is aimed at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, Start-ups, Individual Innovators, R&D institutes and Academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D which has potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
    • The ‘Make’ Procedure has been simplified with provisions for funding of 90% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry and reserving Government funded Make-I projects not exceeding development cost of Rs.10 Crore & procurement cost Rs. 50 Crore per year for MSMEs. 
      • The industry funded Make-II Projects not exceeding development cost of Rs.3 Crore & procurement cost Rs. 50 Crore per year have also been reserved for MSMEs.
    • Government has notified the ‘Strategic Partnership (SP)’ Model which envisages establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with Indian entities through a transparent and competitive process, wherein they would tie up with global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to seek technology transfers to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains.
    • Government has notified a Policy for indigenisation of components and spares used in Defence Platforms in March, 2019 with the objective to create an industry ecosystem which is able to indigenize the imported components (including alloys & special materials) and sub-assemblies for defence equipment and platform manufactured in India.
    • Government has decided to establish two Defence Industrial Corridors to serve as an engine of economic development and growth of defence industrial base in the country. 
      • They span across Chennai, Hosur, Coimbatore, Salem and Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu and spanning across Aligarh, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur, Chitrakoot and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
    • A Policy on ‘Utilisation of Third Party Inspection Services’ has been notified in May, 2018 for effective administration of inspection Services with involvement of third parties and promote Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs and private sector.
    • Offset guidelines have been made flexible by allowing change of Indian Offset Partners (IOPs) and offset components, even in signed contracts.  
    • Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are now allowed to provide the details of IOPs and products after signing of contracts. In order to bring more transparency and efficiency into the Offset discharge process, “Offset portal” has been created in May, 2019.
    • The Ministry has instituted a new framework titled ‘Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti’ in November, 2018 which aims to provide boost to the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) culture in indigenous defence industry.
    • Defence Investor Cell has been created in February, 2018 in the Ministry to provide all necessary information including addressing queries related to investment opportunities, procedures and regulatory requirements for investment in the sector.
    • Defence Products list requiring Industrial Licences has been rationalised and manufacture of most of parts or components does not require Industrial License. 
      • The initial validity of the Industrial Licence granted under the IDR Act has been increased from 03 years to 15 years with a provision to further extend it by 03 years on a case-to-case basis benefit

    UN SUMMIT ON MIGRATORY SPECIES: CMS COP-13

    Context: The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme, is going to be hosted by India during 17th to 22nd February 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat

    CMS COP-13; INDIATHINKERS

    The 12th COP of CMS was held inManila, Philippines from23rd-28th October 2017 and theFirst COP of CMSwas held inBonn,Germany from 21 – 26 October 1985. KEY INFORMATION India, as the host, shall be designated the President for the next three years. The Government of India is Signatory to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory wild Animals (CMS) since 1983The Government of India has been taking necessary actions to protect and conserve migratory marine species A total of 7 species that include Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species), have been identified for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.  THEME: The theme of CMS COP13 in India is, “Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home.“  LOGO: The CMS COP 13 logo is inspired by ‘Kolam’, a traditional artform from southern India. In the logo of CMS COP-13, Kolam art form is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale and marine turtles. MASCOT: The mascot for CMS COP13, “Gibi – The Great Indian Bustard” is a critically endangered species which has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water bird species, including 29 globally threatened species. India is home to several migratory species of wildlife including snow leopard, Amur falcons, bar headed Geese, black necked cranes, marine turtles, dugongs, humpbacked whales, etc. and has signed non-legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).  WHAT ARE MIGRATORY SPECIES? Migratory species of wild animals are those species which move from one habitat to another during different times of the year, due to various factors such as food, sunlight, temperature, climate, etc. The movement between habitats, can sometimes exceed thousands of kilometers/miles for some migratory birds and mammals. A migratory route will typically have nesting sites, breeding sites, availability of preferred food and requires the availability of suitable habitat before and after each migration. ABOUT CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION OF MIGRATORY SPECIES OF WILD ANIMALS The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) or the Bonn Convention, is an international agreement that aims to conserve migratory species within their migratory ranges. It is the only global, and United Nations-based, intergovernmental organization established exclusively for the conservation and management of terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species The Agreement was signed in 1979 in Bonn, Germany under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, the Convention entered into force in 1983. As of September 2019, there were 129 Member States to the Convention. The convention is concerned with conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. The depositary is the government of the Federal Republic of Germany. COVERAGE OF SPECIES UNDER CMS The CMS Family covers a great diversity of migratory species. The Appendices of CMS include many mammals, including land mammals, marine mammals and bats; birds; fish; reptiles and one insect.

    • Appendix I – Threatened Migratory Species: Migratory species which are threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. Parties that are Range States to Appendix I species are obliged to afford them strict protection. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. 
    • Appendix II – Migratory Species requiring international cooperation: Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. These species, either individually or by taxonomic group, are the basis for establishing instruments – regional or global – under CMS. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional Agreements.

    ABOUT CONFERENCE OF PARTIES OF CMS

    The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the CMS acts as its principal decision-making body. It is composed of all States Parties to the Convention, as well as any observers that wish to participate in the proceedings of the Conference. COPs are held at least every three years. The CMS Secretariat acts as the Convention’s coordinating body. The CMS Secretariat is provided and administered by the United Nations Environment Programme. The Secretariat has based in Bonn, Germany since its creation, but was relocated to the United Nations Campus in Bonn in 1998.  Additionally, since 2009, the Secretariat also maintains an out-post office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates which oversees implementation of the MOU on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, and the MOU on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their range. The office is hosted by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. The current acting Executive Secretary of the Convention is Amy Fraenkel.

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    SABKA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISTRIBUTION SCHEME) 2019

    Context: The details of total number of settlements done under the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019) as on dated 05.02.2020 was provided by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur in a written reply to  a question in Lok Sabha.

    SABKA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISTRIBUTION SCHEME) 2019

    The total number of settlements done under the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019) as on dated 05.02.2020 are 49,534 and amount involved in these cases is 24,970 crores. ABOUT SABKA VISHWAS (LEGACY DISTRIBUTION SCHEME) 2019

    The Sabka Vishwas Scheme, 2019 is a scheme proposed in the Union Budget, 2019, and introduced to resolve all disputes which are related to the erstwhile Service Tax and Central Excise Acts, which are now subsumed under GST, as well as 26 other Indirect Tax enactments (as listed below). The scheme will be for taxpayers who wish to close their pending disputes, with a substantial relief provided by the government. The scheme had been notified by the CBIC to come into force on the 1st of September, 2019, and shall be operational until the 31st of December, 2019. WHAT WERE THE CASES COVERED UNDER THE SCHEME? The following cases are covered under the Sabka Vishwas Scheme, 2019:

    • A show cause notice or appeals arising out of a show cause notice pending as on the 30th day of June, 2019
    • An amount in arrears
    • An enquiry, investigation or audit where the amount is quantified on or before the 30th day of June, 2019
    • A voluntary disclosure

    However, there will be certain cases excluded under this scheme-

    • Cases in respect of excisable goods set forth in the Fourth Schedule to the Central Excise Act, 1944 (this includes tobacco and specified petroleum products
    • Cases for which the taxpayer has been convicted under the Central Excise Act, 1944 or the Finance Act, 1944 
    • Cases involving erroneous refunds 
    • Cases pending before the Settlement Commission

    WHAT WERE THE BENEFITS OFFERED BY THE SCHEME? This scheme offered several lucrative resolution benefits to taxpayers, such as:

    • Taxpayers can pay the outstanding tax amounts due and be free from any other consequences under the Law. 
    • Taxpayers will get substantial relief in the form of full waivers of interest, penalties and fines. 
    • There will be complete amnesty from prosecution proceedings.

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