Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 December 2019

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 12 December 2019


IFSC authority bill passed by Loksabha

  • The LokSabha today passed the International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019.

  • It seeks to establish a unified Authority to develop and regulate the financial services market in the International Financial Services Centres or IFSC’s in India.

  • Currently, multiple agencies are entrusted with regulating the specific market including the RBI, SEBI, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, IRDA and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, PFRDA.

  • Fourteen Central Acts would be amended including seven relating to the RBI, three each relating to the SEBI and the IRDA and one on the PFRDA.

  • Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman, in her reply, said, the proposed authority will be subjected to the scrutiny of the CAG and the CVC. She said, the Central agencies like the CBI, the ED and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act-PMLA will have jurisdiction over the proposed authority.

  • Ms NirmalaSitharaman asserted that the IFSC’s are not necessarily restricted to the Gujarat International Finance Tech-City, known as the GIFT city in Gujarat alone.

  • She added that other states can also seek nod for similar centres, though she referred to her predecessor late ArunJaitley’s standpoint that the optimal potential of the existing centre be realized fully before creating new ones.

  • Referring to the ILFS, which is a major stakeholder in the GIFT IFSC, being on the verge of collapse, Ms Sitharaman said, the Gujarat state government has expressed its willingness to take over the stakes of the ILFS.

PM claims passage of citizenship amendment bill as historic

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi has termed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as historic, saying it will end religious persecution faced by the minorities in the neighbouring countries.

  • He said the legislation will end instability in the lives of the people who are residing in India but have not been able to avail the citizenship right and other facilities.

  • The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants of six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.

  • The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians. Answering the constitutionality, Mr. Shah said, the bill has reasonable classification to meet the conditions.

  • Briefing reporters after the BJP Parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi today, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Pralhad Joshi quoted the Prime Minister as saying that the legislation will be written in the annals of history with golden letters.

  • The Minister expressed confidence that the bill would be passed in the RajyaSabha today with a comfortable majority.


Govt.considering switching to chain based method for GDP calculation

  • In a radical change, the government is considering moving to the chain base method of calculating gross domestic product, from the current practice of a fixed base year to better reflect changes in the economy and prevent controversies.

  • The chain base method will capture structural changes in the economy faster by allowing new activity and items to be added every year. Current GDP estimates are based on data for 2011-12 and are due for an update.

  • While discussions on changes are on, no time-frame has been set for a shift. The statistics office junked the idea of shifting to 2017-18 as base year as it was not considered a normal year.

  • The shift would require much better data collection with quick addition of new businesses, goods and establishments. This would impose a burden on the data collection machinery as well as the respondents.

  • Such an index will make it easier to compare India’s growth with other countries, said AbheekBarua, chief economist at HDFC Bank. “Consequently, taking decisions on investments and fund flows, where differentials are concerned, would become rigorous,” Barua said.

Parliamentary panel recommends separate scheme for LPG beneficiaries

  • A Parliamentary panel has said that the government should consider a separate scheme with a higher subsidy so that the LPG cylinders become affordable to beneficiaries of PradhanMantriUjjwaalaYojana, PMUY.

  • A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas headed by Ramesh Bidhuri today presented its report to Parliament on demand for grants for 2019-20.

  • The panel has favoured that the government should introduce smaller sizes of LPG cylinders like two, three and five kilograms.

  • It has said, the government should ensure that the pricing of these packages is in consonance with the 14.2 kilograms cylinder.

  • The panel noted the national average refill of domestic LPG cylinders by consumers is 6.25 cylinders per year.

  • However, it is observed that the average refill of LPG cylinders by PMUY beneficiaries is 3.08 cylinders during the last one year.

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ASSK claims rohingyan genocide as misleading

  • Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San SuuKyi on Wednesday defended the Myanmar government against the allegations of the genocide of Rohingyas at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.

  • She called the allegations as an incomplete and misleading factual picture of the situation in Rakhine state. She said that Myanmar’s security forces responded to the attacks by the insurgent group ArakanRohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in October 2016 leading to the death of nine police officers and hundreds of civilians. This armed conflict led to the exodus of Muslims from Rakhine into Bangladesh.

  • In her 25-minute long defence Aung San SuuKyi said that Myanmar will not tolerate any human rights violation and the government is working to fix the domestic accountability.

  • She conceded that in some cases the armed forces may have used disproportionate force violating international humanitarian law and civilians suffered in the conflict. However, she said that Myanmar’s own judicial system was investigating any possible crimes and reach its own conclusion.

  • The ICJ is hearing the case filed by Gambia on behalf of the OIC accusing Myanmar of genocide and calling for provisional measures against Myanmar to protect further persecution of the Rohingyas.

EU leaders to come up with European Green deal

  • The European Union has said that it will not hesitate to take measures, including a carbon border adjustment tax, to protect the competitiveness of its industries.

  • EU leaders are set to discuss the European Green Deal, a plan that will commit member states to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, on Wednesday.

  • There are concerns that the aggressive policies to reduce economy-wide emissions by EU member states could put domestic industry at a disadvantage compared to industries from countries that not undertaking similar policies.

  • European Commission Vice-President FransTimmermans that most countries barring “very very few” have subscribed to Paris Agreement and agrees it is a good thing and now the “necessity is to translate that into concrete action.”

  • This would require countries to take measures to meet the goals set out in the 2015 agreement. The European Green Deal is the package of measures and policy the European Commission is proposing for the EU to achieve these goals.

  • Over the last year, there has been particularly in Europe much greater social mobilisation and public pressure calling governments to set up efforts to address climate change.

  • This public pressure has been buttressed by more robust science and scientific assessments calling for increased efforts over the decade. A ramp up of climate and environmental measures is at the core of EU President Ursula von der Leyen approach.


Study finds volcanic rock movement might lead to ghg emissions

  • Greenhouse gas emissions directly from the movement of volcanic rocks can create massive global warming effects -- more than previously believed -- according to a study which may lead to changes in the way scientists estimate climate change.

  • The researchers, including those from the University of Birmingham in the UK, said one such role in climate change could be played by Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) -- extremely large accumulations of rocks forming when magma travelled through the crust towards the surface.

  • They created a model of changes in carbon emissions during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) - a short interval of maximum temperature lasting around 100,000 years some 55 million years ago.

  • As part of the study, the researchers calculated the greenhouse gas fluxes associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) - one of Earth's largest LIPs that spans Britain, Ireland, Norway and Greenland.

  • The simulations by the researchers predicted that the volcanic rocks part of the NAIP could have initiated PETM climate change.

  • The link between LIPs and changes in global climate during the Mesozoic era suggests that greenhouse gases released directly by these rocks could initiate a domino effect of changes in the Earth's environment which could persists over 10,000 to 100,000 years.


Sports ministry calls for rigorous campaign against doping

  • Sports and Youth Affairs Minister KirenRijiju has called for a rigorous campaign to bring awareness about doping. The Minister said that a sense of clean sports must be inculcated in the players from the very beginning. Mr.Rijiju was addressing a gathering after declaring actor Sunil Shetty as the Brand Ambassador of National Anti Doping Agency, NADA in New Delhi today.

  • Mr.Rijiju said, clean sports is the agenda of the government and players must adopt fair practices to achieve success and not resort to foul means like doping which brings bad name to the country.

  • He said, it is imperative for sportspersons to stay fit in order to win and they should achieve fitness through regular exercises, yoga and by taking nutritious diet.

  • The Minister said, Fit India Movement was launched to create awareness about the importance of being fit in daily life through sports, yoga and walks or any other physical activity.

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