24th October daily Current Affairs

Pakistan to stay on FATF grey list till 2021

Why in News?

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)  decided to keep Pakistan on the “grey list” till the next review of its compliance with the recommendations made in February next year.

What is the role of FATF?

  • The rise of the global economy and international trade has given rise to financial crimes such as money laundering.
  • The FATF makes recommendations for combating financial crime, reviews members’ policies and procedures, and seeks to increase acceptance of anti-money laundering regulations across the globe.
  • Because money launderers and others alter their techniques to avoid apprehension, the FATF updates its recommendations every few years.

What is the Black List and the Grey List?

  • Black List: The blacklist, now called the “Call for action” was the common shorthand description for the FATF list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” (NCCTs).
  • Grey List: Countries that are considered safe haven for supporting terror funding and money laundering are put in the FATF grey list. This inclusion serves as a warning to the country that it may enter the blacklist.

Consequences of being in the FATF grey list:

  • Economic sanctions from IMF, World Bank, ADB
  • Problem in getting loans from IMF, World Bank, ADB and other countries
  • Reduction in international trade
  • International boycott

Reply to plea on quashing of notice for UPSC exam

Why in News ?

The Delhi High Court asked the Centre to respond to a petition seeking quashing of notice for this year’s civil service examination on the ground that not enough seats have been reserved for those with visual and multiple disabilities.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 

  • It replaced the 1995 Act.
  • It brought the Indian law in line with the United National Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which India is a signatory.
  • Disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept.
  • The types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21 and the Central Government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.
  • Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time.
  • Acid Attack Victims have been included.
  • Dwarfism, muscular dystrophy has been indicated as separate class of specified disability.
  • The New categories of disabilities also included three blood disorders, Thalassemia, Haemophilia and Sickle Cell disease.
  • In addition, the Government has been authorized to notify any other category of specified disability.
  • Responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.
  • Additional benefits such as reservation in higher education, government jobs, reservation in allocation of land, poverty alleviation schemes etc. have been provided for persons with benchmark disabilities and those with high support needs.
  • Every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years shall have the right to free education.
  • Government funded educational institutions as well as the government recognized institutions will have to provide inclusive education to the children with disabilities.
  • It provides for penalties for offences committed against persons with disabilities and also violation of the provisions of the new law.

Salient Features:

Definition of disability:

  • It has defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept to include 21 conditions as disable.
  • Expands the list of disabilities from seven to 21.
  • It also defines Persons with benchmark disabilities as those with at least 40% of any of the above specified disabilities.
  • Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time.
  • Acid Attack Victims have been included.

Rights of persons with disabilities:

  • Persons with disabilities (PwDs) shall have the right to equality.
  • They shall not be discriminated against on grounds of their disability.
  • Rights include protection from inhuman treatment and equal protection and safety in situations of risk, humanitarian emergencies, natural disasters and armed conflict.
  • All existing public buildings shall be made accessible for disabled persons.

Education and skill development:

  • It provides for the access to inclusive education, self-employment and vocational training to disabled persons.
  • At least 5% seats in all government institutions of higher education and those getting aid from the government are required to reserve seats for persons with benchmark disabilities. Earlier it was only 3%.

Employment:

  • The Union and State governments will ensure that at least 4% of the vacancies in identified establishments are filled by persons or class of persons with at least 40% of any of the disabilities.
  • The reservation must be computed on the basis of total number of vacancies in the strength of a cadre. Government can exempt any establishment from this provision of reservation.

Legal Capacity: Disabled persons have the equal right to own and inherit movable and immovable property, as well as control their financial affairs in par with others.

Guardianship: The district court may order guardianship to the disable person if found a mentally ill person and not capable of taking care of himself or of taking legally binding decisions.

District level committees:

  • It will be constituted by the State Governments to address local concerns of PwDs.
  • Details of their constitution and the functions of such committees would be prescribed by the State Governments in the rules.
  • Special Courts will be designated in each district to handle cases concerning violation of rights of PwDs.

Central and state advisory boards on Disability:

  • They will be constituted by Central and State governments respectively.
  • They will advise governments on policies and programmes on disability.
  • The will also review the activities of organisations dealing with disabled persons.

National and State Fund: It will be created to provide financial support to the persons with disabilities. The existing National Fund for PwDs and the Trust Fund for Empowerment of PwDs will be subsumed with the National Fund.

Punishment: It provides for imprisonment ranging from six months to two years, along with a fine ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 5 lakh, for discriminating against differently abled persons.


Delhi govt. launches dedicated EV policy portal

Why in News?

In a bid to encourage the usage and buying of electric vehicles in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government launched a web portal — ev.delhi.gov.in — for the same

Salient points of Delhi’s Electric Vehicle Policy:

– Up to 30,000 subsidy on E-Rickshaw

– Waiver on Registration Fee & Road Tax for E-Vehicles

– 200 public charging stations

– Scrapping incentive

– Low-interest loan on the purchase of E-Vehicles

– E-buses

– Within 1 year, Delhi Govt aims to induct 35,000 E-vehicles

– Aims to constitute 25% e-vehicles by 2024

– Up to 30,000 subsidy on two-wheelers

– Up to 1.5 lakh subsidy on Cars

– Up to 30,000 subsidy on Auto-rickshaw

– Up to 30,000 subsidy on freight vehicles


Work on new Parliament to start in Dec.

Why in News ?

Construction on the new Parliament building, estimated to cost ₹970 crore, will start in December and likely to be completed by October 2022 

Key Points

  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs proposed a Central Vista redevelopment project in 2019.
  • The project envisages
    • Constructing a triangular Parliament building next to the existing one.
    • Constructing Common Central Secretariat.
    • Revamping of the 3-km-long Rajpath — from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.
  • North and South Block to be repurposed as

The government’s argument for revamping Central Vista:

  1. The Parliament building’s facilities and infrastructure are inadequate to meet the current demand.
  2. The offices of the Central Government are spread over different locations which affects inter-departmental coordination, and unnecessary travel leading to congestion and pollution.
  3. Most of the existing buildings have outlived their structural lives.

Important Facts –

  • Parliament House building was designed by both Lutyens and Baker.
  • Rashtrapati Bhavan was designed by Edwin Lutyens.
  • The Secretariat which includes both north and south block was designed by Herbert Baker.

Centre slaps stock limits as onion prices shoot up

Why in News?

Wholesale traders will not be allowed to store more than 25 tonnes of onions, while retailers will be limited to two tonnes only from October 23 till December 31.

Why the price is rising?

  • Hoarding: Hoarding of perishable items is illegal; however, many traders have hoarded onions and are now selling at much inflated prices than before. Therefore, traders and not farmers are benefited when onion prices hike.
  • Onion Consumption: It goes with the law of demand and supply. For example, it happens during the nine days of Navratri in Maharashtra and the month of Shravan.
  • Excess rainfall : Excess rainfall and flooding in the key producer States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh this year has resulted in significant damage to the standing kharif crop, and the expectation of short supplies has led to soaring prices, crossing the ₹100 per kg mark in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.

China may not recognise U.K.-issued HK passports

Why in News?

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it may decide not to recognise British-issued passports for Hong Kong residents in retaliation for London’s moves to open a path to citizenship for those holding the documents

What really happened?

  • Britain said in May that it would allow holders of such passports extended stays and the possibility of citizenship, prompting thousands of Hong Kongers to rush to renew or apply for them as Beijing steps up restriction on political expression.
  • Differences have sharpened since China in June imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong in response to months of anti-government protests last year.

What is Hong Kong’s ‘Basic Law’?

  • A former British colony, Hong Kong was handed over to mainland China in 1997, becoming one of its Special Administrative Regions.
  • It is governed by a mini-constitution called the Basic Law, which affirms the principle of “one country, two systems”.
  • The constitutional document is a product of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.
  • Under this Declaration, China promised to honour Hong Kong’s liberal policies, system of governance, independent judiciary, and individual freedoms for a period of 50 years from 1997.
  • Since the handover, Hong Kong residents have repeatedly protested to protect their Basic Law freedoms, with the first major pro-democracy protest taking place in 2003.
  • In 2014, over one lakh city residents took part in the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ to protest against China’s denial of democratic reforms.


 



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