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CURRENT AFFAIRSFEBRUARY 2020

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY + 3rd FEBRUARY 2020


Daily Current Affairs: 3rd 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.

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.


Defence Budget 2020-21


Context: As part of the Union Budget for the financial year 2020-21, presented by Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman Rs 3,37,553 crore has been allocated for Defence (excluding Defence Pension).


BUDGET 2020-21_ALLOCATION; INDIATHINKERS


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Total Outlay: Rs 30,42,230 crore

Defence Allocation (without pension):  Rs 3,37,553 crore

For Defence Pension: Rs 1,33,825 crore 

There is an overall increase of Rs 40,367.21 crore in the total Defence allocations (Rs 4,71,378 crore) including Defence Pension over the financial year 2019-20. Total defence budget accounts for 15.49% of the total central government expenditure for the year 2020-21.

The allocation of Rs 4,71,378 crore represents a growth of 9.37% over Budget Estimates (Rs 4,31,010.79 crore) for the financial year 2019-20.


Also Read: ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE ESSAY IN UPSC IAS MAINS

DIVIDEND DISTRIBUTION TAX (DDT)


Context: According to the Finance Minister's Union Budget 2020-21 speech, the Dividend Distribution Tax has been shifted to individuals instead of companies.


Dividend Distribution Tax; INDIATHINKERS

What is DDT? : It is a tax which is levied on dividends that a company pays to its shareholders out of its profits.

How is it applied? : The Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) which is taxable at source, is deducted at the time when the company distributes the dividends.

What is dividend? : The dividend is the share of profits that the company shares with its shareholders.

According to the law, the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) is to be levied at the hands of the company, and not at the hands of the receiving shareholder. However, an additional tax is imposed on the shareholder, who receives over Rs. 10 lakh in dividend income in a single financial year.

Is it applicable to Private Companies also? As per Section 115-O, the Income Tax Act, any domestic firm which declares or distributes dividend has to pay DDT at the rate of 15 % on the gross amount of dividend.

What are the other taxes levied on the Market Instruments? Besides DDT, other major taxes on the Market instruments includes the following:

  • Long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax : It is a levy on the profits from the sale of assets held for more than a year. The rates are 0%, 15%, or 20%, depending on tax bracket. (Any profit or gain that arises from the sale of a ‘capital asset’ is a capital gain. This gain or profit comes under the category of ‘income’.)
  • Securities Transaction Tax (STT) : Securities transaction tax (STT) is a tax levied at the time of purchase and sale of securities listed on stock exchanges in India. (Securities are tradable investment instruments such as shares, bonds, debentures, equity-oriented mutual funds (MFs) and so on and are issued either by companies or by the Indian government. This tax was introduced in the 2004 Union Budget and came into effect from 1 October 2004.The rate of STT differs based on the type of security traded and whether the transaction is a purchase or a sale.)



Insurance cover on bank FDs, deposits increased to Rs 5 lakh



Context: As part of Budget 2020, FM Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed to increase the limit of insurance cover in case of bank failure on deposits to  Rs 5 lakh from  Rs 1 lakh. 


Deposit insurance; INDIATHINKERS

The proposal come in the wake of crisis at Mumbai-based urban cooperative bank, PMC Bank.

What do you need to know about Deposit Insurance?

Deposit insurance is the insurance which is provided to provide protection to the depositor’s money by receiving a premium. Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) has been set up by the government under RBI to protect depositors in case a bank fails. 

It is to be kept in mind that every insured bank pays premium amounting to 0.001% of its deposits to DICGC every year.

About DICGC

What? : Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India

When? : It was established on 15 July 1978 under the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961.

Why? : It was set up for the purpose of providing insurance of deposits and guaranteeing of credit facilities

DICGC insures all bank deposits, such as saving, fixed, current, recurring deposit for up to the limit of Rs. 500,000 of each deposits in a bank.

Governance: The functions of the subsidiary are governed by the provisions of 'The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961' (DICGC Act) and 'The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation General Regulations, 1961' framed by the Reserve Bank of India in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of Section 50 of the Act.

A maximum of Rs 5,00,000 (after the budget of 2020-21) is insured for each user for both principal and interest amount.

If the customer has accounts in different banks, all of those accounts are insured to a maximum of Rs 5,00,000. However, if there are more accounts in same bank, all of those are treated as a single account

The insurance premium is paid by the insured banks itself i.e., the benefit of deposit insurance protection is made available to the depositors or customers of banks free of cost. 

Further, the Corporation has the power to cancel the registration of an insured bank if it fails to pay the premium for three consecutive half-year periods.

What happens to the money of the depositor in case a bank fails?

In case a bank is liquidated, depositors are entitled to receive an insurance amount of Rs 1 lakh per individual from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC).

This Rs 1 lakh insurance limit includes both principal and interest dues across your savings bank accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits and recurring deposits held with the bank. 

What is the procedure for depositors to claim the money from a failed bank?

There is no direct dealing by DICGC with depositors. Instead, an official liquidator is appointed by the RBI (or the Registrar) on directing that a bank be liquidated. The liquidator will see the winding up process is done with proper care.

According to the DICGC Act, the liquidator is required to hand over a list of all the insured depositors (with their dues) to the DICGC within 90 days of taking charge. The DICGC is supposed to pay these dues within 60 days of receiving this list.

In FY19, it took an average 1,425 days for the DICGC to receive and settle the first claims on a de-registered bank.

Who all are insured by the DICGC?

DICGC covers all commercial and co-operative banks, except in Meghalaya, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Besides, Only primary cooperative societies are not insured by the DICGC.

Following types of deposits are not included by DICGC:

  • Deposits of foreign governments.

  • Deposits of central/state governments.

  • Inter-bank deposits.

  • Deposits of the state land development banks with the state co-operative bank.

  • Any amount due on account of any deposit received outside India.

  • Any amount specifically exempted by the DICGC with previous approval of RBI.

Must read: BEST TIMETABLE FOR UPSC IAS EXAM PREPARATION

THE BREXIT DEAL


Context: Britain has now officially became the first country to leave the 28-member bloc, the European Union (EU). The United Kingdom stopped being a member of the European Union (EU) after 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020.

BREXIT DEAL; INDIATHINKERS


ABOUT EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union is an economic and political union involving 28 European countries. It allows free trade, which means goods can move between member countries without any checks or extra charges. The EU also allows free movement of people, to live and work in whichever country they choose.

The UK joined in 1973 (when it was known as the European Economic Community) and it will be the first member state to withdraw.

It contains 7.3% of the world population and in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of around $20 trillion, constituting approximately 25% of global nominal GDP.

Additionally, all EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme

In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

What is Brexit and why does it happened?

BREXIT is a word that denotes two basic terms i.e., BRITAIN + EXIT. There are three basic theories that drove so many people to vote Brexit:
  • Immigrants: Faced with rising immigration locals worried about their jobs and the erosion of the English way of life wanted their government to clamp down on immigration. This was a revolt against unrestricted immigration from poorer Eastern European states, Syrian refugees residing in the EU and millions of Turks about to join the EU.
  • Elites: Faced with decades of economic malaise, stagnant real wages and economic destitution in former industrial heartlands ever since the rise of “Thaterchism” and the embrace of Neoliberal policies by Tony Blair’s New Labour the non-Londoners have decided to revolt against the elite. This isn’t just about being against the EU as it stands, and its free market and free movement of peoples.
  • Bureaucracy: Faced with Brussel’s asphyxiating amount of red tape the English people decide to “take back control” of their country’s bureaucracy.
These three theories are obviously intertwined at times and contradictory at others, that’s why it matters who is going to be negotiating the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the EU.

What is the Brexit deal?

The transition period and other aspects of the UK’s departure were agreed in a separate deal called the withdrawal agreement.

Most of that was negotiated by Theresa May’s government. But after Mr Johnson replaced her in July 2019, he removed the most controversial part – the backstop which was designed to ensure there would be no border posts or barriers between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. If needed, it would have kept the UK in a close trading relationship with the EU.

Under Mr Johnson’s deal, a customs border will effectively be created between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Some goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will be subject to checks and will have to pay EU import taxes (known as tariffs). These would be refunded if goods remain in Northern Ireland (i.e., are not moved to the Republic of Ireland).


ANTICIPATORY BAIL


Context: A SC constitution bench recently has ruled that an anticipatory bail can continue till the end of the trial and cannot be limited to a fixed time period. 

anticipatory bail; indiathinkers

The judgment was passed in a reference made by a three-judge bench in the case of Sushila Aggarwal v. State of NCT of Delhi regarding the scope of Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which provides for grant of anticipatory bail.

What are the Observations made by the Court?

The apex Court opined that there is nothing in Section 438 CrPC compels or obliges courts to impose conditions limiting relief in terms of time. Further, the court also observed that when Parliament is not in favour to curtail the rights of the citizens, it would be not appropriate for the SC to curtail powers granted to courts with regard to anticipatory bail.

The Court also said that the application for the anticipatory bail could be moved by a person even before filing of FIR. Further, the court should examine seriousness and gravity of the offence to impose any condition on the petitioner, if necessary, while granting anticipatory bail.

What is Anticipatory Bail?

The provision of anticipatory bail under Section 438 was introduced after the amendment in CrPC in 1973

Section 438 is basically a procedural provision which is concerned with personal liberty of each individual, who is entitled to the benefit of the presumption of innocence. As opposed to ordinary bail, which is granted to a person who is under arrest, in anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even before arrest made.

Who all can apply for it?

Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, lays down the law on anticipatory bail. Sub-section (1) of the provision reads: “When any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section; and that Court may, if it thinks fit, direct that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail.”

It is to be noted that the provision empowers only the Sessions Court and High Court to grant anticipatory bail.

What is the significance of the Anticipatory Bail?

The main reason for enactment of Section 438 in the Code was parliamentary acceptance of the crucial underpinning of personal liberty in a free and democratic country. Parliament wished to foster respect for personal liberty and accord primacy to a fundamental tenet of criminal jurisprudence, that everyone is presumed to be innocent till he or she is found guilty.

Life and liberty are the cherished attributes of every individual. The urge for freedom is natural to each human being. In the 1980 Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia vs State of Punjab case, a five-judge Supreme Court bench led by then Chief Justice Y V Chandrachud ruled that Section 438 (1) is to be interpreted in the light of Article 21 of the Constitution (protection of life and personal liberty).

Also Read: ULTIMATE GUIDE TO UPSC IAS EXAM PREPARATION

Maldives re-joined the Commonwealth


Context: After a period of more than 3 years of quitting the Commonwealth on the grounds of criticism of its human rights, the Maldives has now finally re-joined the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth of Nations; Indiathinkers

Maldives pulled out of the Commonwealth in 2016 and now has been formally reinstated into the Commonwealth as its 54th member state.

About Commonwealth of Nations

Formerly known as the British Commonwealth established in 1949 by the London Declaration. It is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire. It operates by intergovernmental consensus of the member states. 

Head of the Commonwealth — Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of the Commonwealth. The position is symbolic.

They came into existence with the proclamation of sovereignty of the state from the colonial rule of British Empire and were later given self-governance. It proclaims that the Commonwealth nations are “free and equal.” The member states of the commonwealth are not legally liable or bound to each other. They are rather united by language, history, culture, likeness of the democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Their values are listed down within the Commonwealth Charter and the hands of harmony towards the member states are extended by the Commonwealth Games held every 4 years

Former British mandates that did not become members of the Commonwealth are Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, British Palestine, Sudan, British Somaliland, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.


Green India Mission


Context: A sum of Rs 343.08 crore has been released under the Green India Mission (GIM) for undertaking afforestation activities over an area of 126,916.32 hectare (ha) in 13 states, according to the Economic Survey 2019-20.

GREEN INDIA MISSION; INDIATHINKERS

ABOUT GREEN INDIA MISSION

National Mission for a Green India or the commonly called Green India Mission (GIM), is one of the eight Missions outlined under India’s action plan for addressing the challenge of climate change -the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). 

GIM, launched in February 2014, is aimed at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures.

The mission has the broad objective of both increasing the forest and tree cover by  5 million ha,  as  well as increasing the quality of the existing forest and tree cover in  another 5 million ha of forest/ non-forest lands in 10 years.

It envisages a holistic view of greening and focuses on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration as a co-benefit.

It also aims at convergence with complementary schemes and programmes for better coordination in developing forests and their fringe areas in a holistic and sustainable manner. 

BACKGROUND

Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had launched a related project in January, 1985 to cover 5 mn ha of waste land to be brought under green cover every year. However, country fell short of achieving this ambitious objective.

With the emergence of United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Indian Government’s stand on climate change has been in accordance with the Principles of Equity and the Common but Differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities as enshrined in the UNFCCC.  The current approach to climate change is fully anchored in the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and the Bali Action Plan

India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was released on 30 June 2008 to outline India’s strategy to meet the challenge of Climate Change and enhance the ecological sustainability of India’s development path. The NAPCC consist of 8 missions in specific areas i.e. 
  • Solar Energy, 
  • Enhanced Energy Efficiency, 
  • Sustainable Habitat, 
  • Water, 
  • Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system, 
  • Green India, 
  • Sustainable Agriculture and 
  • Strategic knowledge for Climate Change (include assessment of the impact of climate change and actions needed to address climate change.) 
Thus the National Mission for a Green India or GIM was included as one of the eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and was accordingly launched on 24 February 2010

GIM was finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in February 2014 with the projected cost of Rs.13,000 crores during the 12th Plan period and one year spill over in 13th Plan. This includes Rs. 2,000 crores from 12th Plan Outlay, Rs.400 crores from 13th Finance Commission grant, and convergence with CAMPA to the tune of Rs. 6000 crores and MGNREGS to the tune of Rs. 4000 crores.

Also Read: DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY + 2nd FEBRUARY 2020

TOURISM BUDGET 2020


Context: Finance Minister proposed to allocate Rs 2,500 crores in 2020-21 for the tourism sector and Rs 3,150 crore for Ministry of Culture to make India an attractive destination for both international and domestic tourists.

TOURISM BUDGET 2020; INDIATHINKERS


KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Finance Minister proposed to establish first Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation with the status of a deemed university to operate under the Ministry of Culture as a measure to have well-trained resources in the disciplines of museology and archeology.

Apart from above, finance minister has also proposed 8 new museums, which includes building infrastructure around 5 Iconic Sites, besides proposing renovation of 5 major museums across the length and breadth of India in a major bid to revitalise tourism. 

The five Archeological sites to be set-up/developed as Iconic Sites with on-site Museums at the following locations: 
  1. Rakhigarhi (Haryana), 
  2. Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), 
  3. Shivsagar (Assam), 
  4. Dholavira (Gujarat) and 
  5. Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu)
Further, a Maritime Museum to highlight Harappan Age at Lothal, Ahmedabad, will be renovated by Ministry of Shipping. There is also a plan to provide support for setting up Tribal Museum in Ranchi (Jharkhand). 

India had moved up from the 65th rank in 2014 to 34 in 2019 in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (World Economic Forum) and due to this, foreign exchange earnings grew 7.4% to Rs 1.88 lakh crore for January 2019 from Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

Context: A video of an elephant being rescued in Jharkhand went viral recently, winning officials of the state forest department praise online. They applied the Archimedes Principle, or the ‘upward buoyant force theory’, to bring the elephant out of the well.

ARCHIMEDES PRINCIPAL; INDIATHINKERS

What is Archimedes' Principal? How it has been used to save the Elephant?

In physics, the Archimedes Principle refers to the law of buoyancy (the ability or tendency of something to float in water or other fluids). According to the principle, when an object is completely or partially submerged in a fluid, whether gas or liquid, it is acted upon by an upward force (buoyancy) equal to the weight of the fluid it has displaced.

The force acting downward on the object is the weight of the object. The upward force is the one given by the Archimedes Principle. The difference between the two forces is the net force acting on the object.

Now, if the buoyant force is more than the weight, the object rises and if it is less, the object sinks. If the net force is zero, the object remains in place, and neither rises nor sinks.

In the case of the elephant rescued in Jharkhand, the forest officials pumped water into the well so that the elephant could float to the surface.




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